We who are strong ought to put up with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Each of us must please our neighbor for the good purpose of building up the neighbor. For Christ did not please himself; but, as it is written, “The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.” …. so that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. (NRSV)
Still thinking of what we talked about last week…
It is not the role of the “strong” to clobber the “weak”. Their role is to support them. Why? Because the weak are at another stage in their spiritual development. The role of the strong is not to “win” the theological dispute with the weak and thereby crush them. Their role is to please, in the sense of building up that fellow believer. Make sense? Consider the example of Jesus, who suffered immensely on the cross, did not try to “please” fleeing that situation. He confronted the most difficult challenge as an innocent person, humbled himself to the condition of a guilty person and was condemned. What an example for us!
All this has a goal that Reformed leaders have emphasized for years: to glorify God. And how can we glorify him in worship if we are divided and arguing among us? Therefore let us think together with one mind, certainly difficult advice to follow in a world to values heavily freedom of expression and the right to disagree. Think agreeably, that is our goal…choose to agree, on behalf of our neighbor’s well-being.
We thank you for the supreme example of Christ, the strongest of all, yet became weak and gave himself for us, the real weak. In his name. Amen.