Romans 15:1 (KJV)
We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.
Paul begins the concept delivered in this passage by assuming that all of his audience would assume they were the strong. It occurs to me that this is a win-win position. There is really never a need to define who is the strong and who is the weak. If we all assumed that we are strong and that everyone else is weak then we ought to treat everyone else as this passage teaches us to treat them:
We bear their infirmities
It can be challenging to put up with errors missteps and nuisances of people we assume to be educated enough sophisticated enough and mature enough to behave better. When someone who is handicapped or someone young presumes upon us we tend to be more patient and forgiving. We understand their plight. If we just assumed that we were stronger than them then we would not be arrogant towards then but bear more with them.
We choose not to please ourselves
The handicapped and weak are pleased by different things than the mature and strong are. If we think of ourselves as the strong ones in every relationship then we would sacrifice our pleasures for others.
We choose to treat them as neighbors and seek both their good and their edification
If we thought of ourselves as the strong ones and others as the weak ones we would constantly see our place as to help lift them and strengthen them.
This is a win-win. We never have to wonder who to minister to. We never have to belittle ourselves and think of ourselves as the weaker. We never have to judge others and divide them into stronger and weaker camps. We just minister to them all as the weaker brother.
And, everyone else will be doing the same for us.
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Romans 15:1 Win-Win
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