Journal Ro 15 (all references are from the ESV; changes in punctuation are mine)
Scripture: “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 neighbor 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 is such harmony with one another, in accord with Jesus Christ, that together with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Ro 15:1-6
Observation: Again, Paul brings up distinctions within the local church; not for division’s sake but to point out differences that must be aligned to bring glory to God. After all, the strong cares for the weak: that is what service in the Kingdom and local church looks like.
Analysis: I am aware that I have a certain tendency. I used to call it “leadership” and sometimes still try to justify my actions and character by calling it leadership.
Jesus nailed it in Luke 22: “And he said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those in authority are called benefactors. But not so with you. Rather, let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the “leader” as one who serves. For who is the greater: One who reclines at table or one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines at table? But—I am among you as the one who serves.”
My tendency is to exercise “boss-manship” and call it leadership. I fight constantly to exercise being a servant, especially around home. I usually think in this manner: “We who are strong have an OBLIGATION to BOSS the failings of the weak so that I am pleased with the output.” Boy, did I do this a bunch with my wife once upon a time.
I also did this with the concept “Accountability.” “I am older and more experienced, therefore let me tell you and hold you accountable to perform what I told you.” When the roles were reversed, it didn’t go over well with me, either.
What was the issue in me, then? It was that I neglected this tiny instruction: “an OBLIGATION to bear with the failings of the weak.”
So, what is my action with this? The Gospel. First off understanding that I am where these folks are at before the throne. 2nd: I didn’t get strong overnight, many folks had to exercise much patience with me, including the Most High. 3rd: Strength equals service, not avoidance of service. It is never “they have to earn their chops, just like I did.” 4th: and to everyone I am in contact with, point to, talk about, preach the Gospel—start with the face in the mirror; then the spouse; then etc. etc.
Succeeding in establishing that servanthood mindset isn’t a one and done experience. It starts with a decision, dedicating it to the Father to establish, and then a lifetime of tuning before me….
Hammer point: Paul was patient. Paul was kind, gentle, and much more. Jesus did the whip thing—I am not Jesus. The OT prophets aren’t necessarily a good example either.
What did I learn? A statue is brought out of a stone with tap-tap-taps of a tiny hammer; not a bing-bang-boom of the sledgehammer.
Prayer: Father, look at what you do!! I write about this not 2 hours after I commit the infraction Your Word talks about. I got to apologize to my wife for my conduct, confess where the sin came from, and repent. How good are You? I saw it this morning and throughout the day. AMEN