Encourage One Another

Romans 15:1-9
This passage holds a number of instructions for us, to bear with the weak, to be Christlike and to accept one another just as Christ accepted each one of us. This means not only must those who are strong receive and accept those who are weak, but the weak must also receive and accept the strong. Also, the insecurities of the weak should not cause them to feel inferior to the strong, just as the pride of the strong should not make them feel superior to the weak.

Why have we been given these instructions?

To build up the weak, not to please ourselves, but to please them. To encourage each other through scripture to give us the hope and the unity we need to endure the race till the end.

When we are encouraging one another by sharing the word of God, we are one with each other and one with God, both in voice and in mind. When we do this we follow the example of Jesus, which brings glory to God and we praise Him for His great mercy.
The text is always in the present continuous tense, which means if we are not doing it already – we need to start – right now!

If we compare the examples of Christ with that of the Pharisees, it is like comparing a builder with a bulldozer! The Pharisees were like bulldozers. They intimidated and bullied people. They were arrogant and demeaning toward others. But the example of Jesus calls us to be builders. God’s desire is for us to be builders of people – our family, fellow church members, co-workers, spouse, and children.

We can be builders by seeking peace not preferences – sometimes we can allow our preferences to cause conflict over non-critical issues in our relationships with others.

Secondly, we can seek grace and not grumble! The Pharisee’s grumbled about everything and were experts at finding fault. When we are blind to our own imperfections, instead of giving people grace, we find fault because we are blinded to the condition of our own heart. The only way to give grace to others is to grow in grace in our own heart.
When we are more focused on our own imperfections rather than someone else’s it comes quite naturally to honour others more than ourselves.

When we have this mindset, our words come from a heart of humility, allowing us to minister grace with our words. We become grace-givers instead of fault-finders.
When we truly grow in grace, we expect more from ourselves and less from others. We begin to see people for who they are capable of being in Christ. We see the good in others and commend it. We think the best of others, giving them the benefit of the doubt, instead of thinking the worst. We become a builder of people, not a bulldozer.