We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves– Romans 15:1
When was the last time you saw a commercial or advertisement expressing this idea: “you should not try to just please yourself, but should be concerned for the welfare and care of others”?
No, we are usually bombarded with messages that encourage us to get the latest gadget, or enjoy a vacation spot, or purchase a vehicle for ourselves because “you deserve it; you owe it to yourself.”
But Paul tells us, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, that the debt you ought to be concerned about is the debt you have to others. God has entrusted you with health, with money, with time, or with resources that others may not have; but these gifts are not meant to pool up in the reservoir of yourself. You have an obligation to God, as a steward of the blessings with which He has entrusted you, to be a conduit, a tributary of blessing to others.
A few verses later Paul tells us why this is so: “For even Christ pleased not himself…” (15:3). That is a big “even”, because Christ (unlike us) had every right to please Himself. And, yet, He was concerned rather to serve and to bear the infirmities and afflictions of the weak with them. We then that are strong, Paul says, ought to be doing the same.
What burdens have you helped bear today? What resources have you shared with others? Don’t seek to please yourself; seek to please the Lord by caring for others.