Wednesday, April 22 2009
The 15th chapter of Romans is subtitled in my Bible (I use a Thompson Chain Reference Bible) "The Duty of Sympathetic and Unselfish Living". Paul begins this chapter with his desire that we as "strong" Christians help those that are weak...
1 WE WHO are strong [in our convictions and of robust faith] ought to bear with the failings and the frailties and the tender scruples of the weak; [we ought to help carry the doubts and qualms of others] and not to please ourselves. (AMP)
I find the last sentence of this scripture very interesting. He was warning them against selfishness. The Christian walk is not just about us making it to heaven, but also those around us. His writings continue with...
2 Let each one of us make it a practice to please (make happy) his neighbor for his good and for his true welfare, to edify him [to strengthen him and build him up spiritually]. (AMP)
As a "church family", it is essential that we look out for each other. It is counterproductive to tear down or criticize those that "fight the good fight" with you. There is a blessing in the unity of the church and we must be diligent to be helpful and not hurtful. As Paul wrote, we must "edify him". It is truly an attitude and we must make "building" people up part of our character or DNA.
Yesterday, I was at Fossil Beach (Westmoreland State Park) with my children looking for shark teeth. During our search a single duck swam by and my son picked up a rock to throw at it. The duck was not aggressive nor had it done anything to deserve being hit with a rock (can't imagine how a duck would deserve that, but I continue). I immediately told my son to drop the rock. His 10 year old mind had not thought of the consequences of hitting the duck, but somehow he thought it was something to do. I explained to him that I did not want a son whose character thought it was ok to be destructive for destructions sake.
As Christians, we must have the character of Jesus. It must be part of our character to be uplifting and not destructive. We must continually check our attitude and purpose. It comes down to one simple question...Are we pleasing ourselves or Jesus?