We Who Are Strong Ought to Put Up with the Failings of the Weak-

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All summer I have been leading a Bible Discussion on the Book of Romans on Thursdays at 7 PM entitled, “Burgers and the Bible.”  This Thursday, we will be looking at Romans 14 and 15.  Paul spends most of chapter 14 talking about the Christian not losing sight of their faith because of different attitudes regarding dietary choices and other behaviors that are different than traditional Jewish customs.

Chapter 15 starts with Paul saying the following:

Romans 15 We who are strong ought to put up with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves.[1]

Life is funny in that the same person who is strong one day may be weak on another day.  Paul tells the Romans to be gentle in how the strong relate to the weak.  To me this can apply to much more than Christians and Jews arguing about dietary customs.

Over the course of a day, month or year, there will be times when in the context of someone else you may seem stronger or weaker.  Life is kind of like a chess match.  Depending on how you play your pieces, you may be able to choke your competition or adversary into submission.  There is a temptation in life to “Get back” at those who have hurt you, disspointed you, and let you down.

Sometimes people will look at love like a game of chess, checkers and Go.  Real relationships are different than table board games because real people have real feelings with real hurt and joy.  When in love, we should always maintain the kind of sensitivity that Paul speaks about in the first verse of chapter 15- we should be sensitive to the weak.  Unfortunately, we often assume an opposite view on life.  Rather than be sensitive to the failings of the weak, we sometimes rejoice in the failings of the weak and look for a way to “Pour salt on the wounds…” of the weak.  If we have any advantage in love, Paul is encouraging us to excel in tenderness and kindness to those who are “Over a barrel.”

Romans 15 We who are strong ought to put up with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves.[2]

 

Questions for Reflection:

  1. Why do you think Paul tells the strong to put up with the failings of the weak?
  2. Who are the weak Paul is speaking about?
  3. Who do you think Paul is describing as “Strong”?

 

Prayer:  Lord, make me never so strong that I lose patience with the weak.  Grant me clarity of purpose and vision, but also a gentle heart towards those who are weak emotionally and physically.  Lord, I thank you for my strength.  Teach me to be gentle and kind towards those who are vulnerable.  Grant me the strength to forgive those who have hurt me with words and actions.  Lord, help me to rise and live on the highest of levels of faith, service and love.  Through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior I pray.  Amen.

 

Written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

Photo by Al Boswell

Additional Prayers Photos and Meditations from Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at https://nicholashoodiiiministries.wordpress.com/

www.nicholashoodiiiministries.wordpress.org

 

 

[1] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Ro 15:1). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[2] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Ro 15:1). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.