15 We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. 2 Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up. 3 For even Christ did not please himself but, as it is written: “The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.” 4 For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. 5 May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, 6 so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
I think most of us would agree that what the apostle Paul is suggesting here is excellent practice. As The Message version puts Verse 2, “Each one of us needs to look after the good of the people around us, asking ourselves, “How can I help?”
Yes, excellent advice indeed, and wouldn’t the world be a better place if we all did this? However, as much as we may want to follow this principle, we all struggle at times because of our inherent bent towards self-centeredness.
Fortunately, we see a shift in Verse 5, as Paul turns to prayer for God’s help. “May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had…”
This shift in focus reminds us that it is only with God’s help that we can come even close to fulfilling this calling to put others before ourselves.
I am so grateful for a God that never waivers in His selfless love for us. And I am grateful that He calls us to a higher version of ourselves to live a life of service to others, just as He does.
But more than that, I am grateful for the help that He provides for us to live in this high calling, and grace and mercy he provides when we don’t always reach the mark.
Let us be reminded today to ask God for His help, and not fool ourselves into thinking that we can do anything of real value without Him.
Written by Shelley Witt