‘We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification. For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me.’ — Romans 15:1–3
Continuing the theme of Romans 14, the opening of chapter 15 reminds us to:
- Bear the infirmities of the weak
- Not to please ourselves
- Work at pleasing our neighbour for his good to edification
- Follow the example of Christ who took our reproach on Himself
The idea here is that the stronger we are the more we will put up with the weaknesses, preferences and needs of others. We won’t be thinking about what we want, what we prefer, or what pleases us. Instead, we will working to accomodate the needs and desires of others.
What a challenge this is to us! And then what an example as Paul writes, ‘Even Christ pleased not himself…’ The Lord Jesus Christ, the King of kings and Lord of lords was focused on pleasing others and not Himself. If anyone had a right to look out for Himself it was Christ, but He didn’t.
And neither should we. What a challenging thought this is for us. Whose infirmities can we bear? Are we working to please our neighbors and to build them up? Or are we just worried about ourselvers?