“An Obligation To Love” ( Romans 15: 1-2, HCSB ) by Carley Evans

“Now we who are strong have an obligation to bear the weaknesses of those without strength, and not to please ourselves. Each one of us must please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.”

 

“Therefore,” says Paul, “let us no longer criticize one another. Instead decide never to put a stumbling block or pitfall in your brother’s way.” (Romans 14:13)

 

If we are strong, we may be able to genuinely say “that nothing is unclean in itself.” But if we are weak, we may find our conscience pricked by that very act another finds acceptable, perhaps even finds suitable. If we are weak, we may protest against the other. If we are strong, we are to bear up under this protest. In a sense we are to deny what we know to be true –“that nothing is unclean in itself” — and avoid participating in that activity in the face of the one who is weak. In this way, we (who are strong) will not harm the one who is weak.

 

James say, “Brothers, do not complain about one another, so that you will not be judged. Look, the judge stands at the door!” (James 5:9)

 

Peter says, “Now finally, all of you should be like-minded and sympathetic, should love believers, and be compassionate and humble, not paying back evil for evil or insult for insult but, on the contrary, giving a blessing, since you are called for this, so that you can inherit a blessing.” (1 Peter 3:8-9)

 

“Above all, maintain an intense love for each other, since love covers a multitude of sins.” (1 Peter 4:8)

 

“Love is patient, love is kind. Love does not envy, is not boastful, is not conceited, does not act improperly, is not selfish, is not provoked, and does not keep a record of wrongs.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-5)

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