Learning To Serve and Carry Others: Romans 15:1-3
“1) Now we who are strong ought to bear the weaknesses of those without strength and not just please ourselves. 2) Each of us is to please his neighbor for his good, to his edification. 3) For even Christ did not please Himself; but as it is written, “The reproaches of those who reproached You fell on Me.”” Romans‬ ‭15:1-3‬
There are two very different philosophies about life. The first says we should live to serve self. We should be number one always look out for our own interests first. The second says we should live to serve others. We should see ourself as number two and consciously look out for the needs of others before self. I have found the second approach to be much more rewarding and it opens the door for friendship and genuine ministry.
In this text, Paul introduces a third concept. Those who are strong ought to bear the weaknesses of those without strength. Human nature has a tendency of looking down on the weak and vulnerable. Some see them as easy targets for exploitation, but Paul says they are candidates for Agape love and ministry.
Throughout His public ministry, Jesus always gravitated toward those with needs. He was there for the hungry, sick, downcast and needy. He was the Great Physician and Great Provider. He ministered to the needs of others before His own. Had He come with a different mindset, He would have never gone to the cross for lost humanity.
True ministry starts the moment you take your eyes off from yourself and start noticing the needs of others. With guidance from the Holy Spirit and practice, many doors for fruitful ministry will start to open before you. When you walk through them and truly start carrying others who are weaker than you, you will discover the power of edification. It will change you.
You will move from being a taker to being a giver. Instead of draining others you will begin to fill others. Instead of criticizing you will start encouraging. Instead of tearing down you will start building up. Instead of complaining and being negative about everything your attitudes will change. You will become positive and find ample reason for rejoicing. Like magic, your world will begin to change before you. The storm clouds will roll away and the sun will begin to shine.
I can’t explain it, but as you learn to serve others life begins to smile at you. Soon your lonely world will be filled with friendships and many of those friends will begin to blossom as you shower them with Jesus and His love.
This is the Christian life as Jesus modeled it. But notice, He lived this kind of life daily among people. He cared for the needs of people as He encountered them along the highways and byways of life. As a result he became a radiant light of hope in an otherwise dark world.
Soon crowds were following Him. We can conclude that Agape love servanthood is the pathway to “Jesus like” influence and ministry. John 15 says, “if you want to bear fruit… abide in the vine.” Go out and be Jesus to your world!
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global