November 30, 2010
We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves.
Please read: Romans 15: 1-13
The Book of Romans can be considered as: The Handbook for Christian Living. In the contents of this book we find the do’s and don’t’s of acceptable behavior according to our faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. Let me clarify my statement. I believe that the entire Bible is God-breathed and inspired for instruction, edification and correction (2 Timothy 3:16). I just think that the Book of Romans is the consolidated instructions on how a Christian should behave. It makes for good reading but more, it makes for great studying. If you ever want to really study a book of the Bible I suggest you choose this one. You will be amazed at what you read and instantly you will be convicted of your sinful ways. You will also be edified, lifted up and encouraged to do better and be better for God. This is a great book, but for today we are just going to concentrate on the first 13 verses of the 15th chapter.
Are you strong? How do you gauge strength? In this context it is not physical strength but spiritual. There are some who are weak in their faith. Some of the reasons they are weak have to do with their own sinful nature. Some of the reasons have to do with the circumstances life has dealt them. Emotional times, poor health, broken relationships, disaster, financial needs and just plain tiredness can make a good strong Christian a weak one. This is when we wonder why God is allowing certain things to happen to us and why. We want to be saved from the heartache and pain. Every day we live in a trauma we either get stronger in our faith or become weaker. The direction we go will depend on what we do when faced with troubles. Do we turn to God and other Christians and ask for help or do we internalize our sorrows and allow them to wear us down? For those of you who reach out and remain strong, look around and find those who are weak.
When you find the one who is weak, don’t rush into their life and announce you are their savior. You’re not, Christ Jesus is their Savior. You are the disciple He is sending to assist. Therefore, approach them and give them the warmth of your smile. Do not assume you know what is wrong or how they feel. Ask them and really listen to their response. Repeat what they said to insure you heard them right. Pray and ask God to show you ways you can help and then respond. Share that with them and respect their decisions. Gently guide them, do not judge and do not try to correct them. Don’t tell them to claim a verse, turn to God or pray about it. Those are good things to do, but when someone is weak they do not need another person to point out the obvious.
That would be like seeing a person who just fell overboard in the sea struggling and you announce to them: You should not have leaned over the railing so far, you should have learned to swim and you should have on a life preserver. They should have but they didn’t, and yelling that to them from the safety of the boat does not help them. Tossing them a life preserver will, so you be that life preserver. As you are doing that, thank God for your strength and ask Him for more of His. Work with God and really help the weak for their sake and God’s. Forget about your own. You may get wet; you may have to jump into the water. You may even choke down some of the salty sea, but praise God you are the stronger of the two and God gives you the strength to be strong for the weak. Do this, child of God, and you are really behaving as Jesus did.
My God, You have filled me with hope, joy and peace and I trust in You. In this truth I stand and promise to lift up those who are weaker than I and praise You always for the strength You give me through Christ Jesus my King. Amen.