Scripture: Proverbs 25-27, Romans 15

Romans 15:1b-3a We should not please ourselves. 2Instead, we should all please our brothers and sisters for their own good, in order to build them up in the faith. For Christ did not please himself.

Observation/application

We should not please ourselves.

This is not an absolute statement governing every situation—but it is generally the way Jesus wants us to live: selflessly.

Paul is addressing some friction in the Roman church over differing opinions about holy days and diet.  He changes the issue from these things to how we treat each other.  Your brother or sister is always more important than the issue.  In chapter 14 he reminds us that the brother with whom we disagree is someone Christ died for!

So rather than trying to win arguments or get our own way, we “should not please ourselves; instead we should please our brothers and sisters for their good.”  And he cites the example of Jesus, who lived and died for others.

Put others ahead of yourself.  That’s love.  I’ve been trying to live by the acronym JOY: Jesus, Others, You.  Put Jesus first, then others before yourself. It’s a constant battle—I naturally put myself first, before Jesus, before others.  But when I do it, it is the way to joy!

In verse 7, Paul said, “Accept one another then, for the glory of God, as Christ has accepted you.”  Once again, Jesus is our example.  But notice that our social behavior (selfless acceptance of others) brings glory to God.  Conversely, when we as Christians reject others, fight and bicker, we are discrediting God!  As followers of Jesus, we should be leading the way in selfless love of others.

It’s the Jesus way.

Prayer: Lord, help me today to live selflessly, to put others ahead of myself.