Sunday, December 3
When you disagree…
Scripture: Romans 13-16
Romans 15:1-3 We who are strong in the faith ought to help the weak to carry their burdens. We should not please ourselves. Instead, we should all please other believers for their own good, in order to build them up in the faith. For Christ did not please himself. Instead, as the scripture says, “The insults which are hurled at you have fallen on me.”
The Roman Christians were dividing over food rules and days of the week. Paul writes to correct this and encourages them to put the other believers before themselves. And of course, he cites the ultimate example: Jesus didn’t please Himself. Jesus put us ahead of Himself.
Paul considered these issues matters of opinion that good Christians could disagree about and still love each other. There are many of these today—theological and practical issues that we can see differently, but must still love each other. But we tend to dismiss others who disagree with us rather than loving them.
And Paul believed it was incumbent upon the strong to help the weak. Who were the strong? Usually, we see our position as the strong one! We think that we are the strong, and the other person is the weak one. Then it is incumbent upon us to love the weak brother, to carry their burdens, to please them and not ourselves, to build them up in the faith, to work for their good.
Here is another example of JOY: Jesus Others You.
And what a great reminder that when I think I’m right, that I’m in the strong position, Jesus expects me to care for the weaker brother. This starts by praying for them, and then loving them—doing good for them and speaking well of them, and putting their interests ahead of my own.
Prayer: Lord, so often I want to write off people who disagree with me. Instead, help me to love them, help them, please them, do good to them, and build them up in the faith.