Saturday, November 2, 2013

Romans 15:1-3

"We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.
Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification.
For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me."
Romans 15:1-3

 When I read this scripture and saw the word "weak," I immediately thought of physical weakness.  That we should be helping people who are frail, and assisting the people who have limited mobility or who are sick.  And then when I read the footnote for the word, it included people who were weak in the faith, which made me think of the whole thing differently.  Of course, we shouldn't leave out the physically weak, but when I thought about the spiritually weak it made me realize that we really don't usually bear the infirmities of *that* kind of weak very well at all.  And the third verse made a lot more sense to me as well.  Most of the physically infirm probably wouldn't be insulting Christ just because of their physical weakness.  Instead, they would be asking for healing.  But the spiritually infirm, if you will, might very well do that... because it is easier for us to try to deny God if we do it forcefully and with gusto.  Hard to do it peacefully and kindly... that lets the spirit in, to remind us of who we are. :)
And bearing the infirmities of the weak when it is spiritual means that, like Christ, we might have to bear some insults.  Learn some massive lessons in patience.  And maybe it isn't physical support at all, even for the physically infirm.  Maybe it is more like tolerance and kindness for everyone... whether they are as physically able as we are, and whether or not they are as spiritually able.  Maybe we need to be patient with each other in our physical sickness or our spiritual sickness.  Maybe we just need to be nicer to people and not think that we're the coolest person in the room just because we're physically or spiritually more advanced.  Maybe it is like yesterday's scripture.  Letting us know that even *this* is no reason to treat others as better or worse... but only another opportunity to help and lift each other.

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