“We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbour for his good, to build him up. For Christ did not please himself, but as it is written, “The reproaches of those who reproached you fell on me.” For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.”
~ Romans 15:1-7
…welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.
I am so grateful Christ has welcomed me. I am a part of something that is everlasting. I have been given a new life, a new job, a new inheritance. I am a part of something that matters, and that is safe and secure. He has brought me out of a place where there was no hope, no help, no worth, no joy. He has taught me to trust and given me tools to battle my fear. I can walk this road blindly – without knowing what lays ahead, trusting that I have a destination that is worth the journey, and the fuel to get there. There might be war wounds from the trek, but nothing that will leave me too battered or bruised to continue the journey.
Endurance. I’ve been given endurance. I need and have the Bread of Life for my food, and the Water that conquers all thirst. And I’ve been given fellow Sojourners to provide support.
Now I can think of that statement “I’ve been given fellow Sojourners to provide support.” as something that I get to sit back and reap from without having to do anything myself. Or… I can see it in the way God intended. People are not here to please me. They are here for me to care for, encourage, strengthen, and most of all serve selflessly. I am called to be like to Christ to each person I meet. Do I? Am I?
No. And yes. To say that I don’t entirely would be to say that Christ has not worked in my life and that He has not cared through me ever. This is not the Truth. I have see Him at work in my life in this way often. But have I been fully changed to think only about others, selflessly, wonderfully, like Christ – No.
I still choose to serve, or please, myself.
Even after a time of servanthood, I am quick to judge, critic the people I have served and condescend like I am higher than they. Oh… what a foul stench this leaves.
My need for Christ is deep. My need for the God of endurance great.
My desire is for my life to leave a pleasing aroma. The aroma of Christ.
What practically can I do today?
Encourage the weak.
Enter into suffering with them.
Sit in the chief of sinners seat.
Shine Christ’s light.
Serve others selflessly.
Aim to please others, not me.
Do not compromise and stumble or cause a stumbling block for others.
Trust Christ for my needs to do this.
To give God glory, and enjoy Him.
Oh what a gift to …welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.