Please Others and Not Yourself
1If our faith is strong, we should be patient with the Lord's followers whose faith is weak. We should try to please them instead of ourselves. 2We should think of their good and try to help them by doing what pleases them. 3 Even Christ did not try to please himself. But as the Scriptures say, “The people who insulted you also insulted me.” 4 And the Scriptures were written to teach and encourage us by giving us hope. 5God is the one who makes us patient and cheerful. I pray that he will help you live at peace with each other, as you follow Christ. 6Then all of you together will praise God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Paul is speaking into the life of the church at Rome as a spiritual father. Oh that we each would set a life course that would lead to us being spiritual fathers and mothers in our church families! That we would aspire to become men and women who speak out of the heart of God, and love deeply the body of Christ. Who better to speak specifically into your unique situation than a godly older man or woman who is “strong” in the faith, already loves you and prays for you?
Paul has written Romans 14 & 15 in order to settle disputes. He has exhorted us to be patient and kind with one another since we are all on the same journey and no one is perfect. He has warned us not to judge or criticize, and above all to love as Jesus loves. In today’s passage he says it this way, “We should try to please them instead of ourselves” (v 1).
Jesus told us to love others as he has loved us. Is it really possible to live a life concerned with pleasing others? This is Jesus-love. It is the healthiest type of love. It’s loving, giving, serving out of Jesus’ love, gifts, and generosity to me! It is also recognizing the huge importance of building up the family of God, his Church. We were created for one another, and the Church is Jesus’ idea for the world. He put the Church in place.
So it is imperative that you, if you are a follower of Jesus, be in love and full participation in a local church family. Paul writes, “I pray that he will help you live at peace with each other, as you follow Christ. Then all of you together will praise God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (vv 5-6). Worship comes out of unity. Unity comes out of putting each other first
Jesus, You love your Church. You created us, and we are your solution to this world. Forgive me for not loving your Church the way you do, but please teach me how. This week help me to…