We then who are strong ought to bear with the scruples of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, leading to edification. For even Christ did not please Himself; but as it is written, “The reproaches of those who reproached you fell on me.” For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope. Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus, that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore receive one another, just as Christ also received us, to the glory of God. (Romans 15:1-7)
Edify The Other Person
The church is made up of a lot of different people. They come with their peculiar personalities, traits and views of life. No one is the same. Economic backgrounds, education, spiritual growth, age and gender all work to create a beautiful recipe of unique and special characteristics that make up a local body of saints. It is hard to believe that everyone is not like me. I seem to have all the answers and understand things better than others so how can others not see my viewpoint? It can be frustrating when we see what people do and how they act when they should be as mature as I am. It is clear that I have all the answers. If only the church would mold its character to my wishes how much better it would be.
The melting pot of brethren is a clear reminder the church is not about me. It is easy to assume that I have all the answers and everyone should follow my lead. What is lost in so many of the discussions of brotherhood unity is the church belongs to Jesus Christ, our work is to edify the other person and all we do is for the glory of God. Quite frankly it is not about me. Shocking but true. There are strong Christians and there are weak Christians. It comes as another shocking truth but weak Christians are going to heaven also. The Lord never suggests we cast aside those who struggle in their spiritual fight or find themselves falling on a regular basis. In the army of the Lord we leave no one behind. Those who have matured in their faith bear with the failings of the weak because it is not about me. We are to please the other person so that he can see the glory of God and help them to be edified or built up in their faith. If we bear the name of Christ we are to follow His example of bearing with the spiritually lacking among us. Jesus did not die for a special group of spiritually elite commandos who have all the answers about everything. Take some time and read of how God dealt with His people and it is evident the scriptures teach everyone was important.
Being of one mind toward one another will bring the unity of peace and comfort of the Holy Spirit. Unification of spirits is based upon the differences we share in the spiritual quest of eternal life. We are in the same family and share in the same Father. The King of Kings and Lord of Lords is the same for all those who bear the name of Christ. Spiritually speaking there are privates, sergeants and officers in the army of the Lord but unlike the carnal warfare we are all the same. Our spiritual understanding will be different but our spiritual standing is not. We receive one another for the glory of God. Our purpose is to defeat the forces of Satan and raise the banner of truth in a world filled with darkness. Unified together as the army of the Lord we are there for the other person. The key element of our service is the other person. My goal should be to edify the other person. Casting stones does not encourage. Putting out a helping hand will lift someone up. Clasping hands together in prayer will exhort a saint to greater service. Let Satan tremble when he hears the roar of unified feet marching toward his camp as he witnesses the army of the Lord marching in rank and in step with one another. We are the army of God. Let us seek the good of one another for the glory of God.