I was recently out at music venue listening to one of my favorite guitarists. It was an amazing night of music until this one song that just sounded “off.” Something wasn’t right. All of a sudden, the guy stopped the band and started tuning his guitar. He said: “We tune because we care.” Problem solved! Two things stand out to me now about that moment. One, he knew something wasn’t right, and two, he stopped and did something about it! The easy thing is to just trudge ahead and hope it gets better. But easy isn’t always best. Sometimes we need to take action to correct what’s “out of tune.”
- What do you do when your relationships are out of tune? From whom do you seek advice?
READ THE WORD: ROMANS 15:1-6 (ESV)
15:1 We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. 2 Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. 3 For Christ did not please himself, but as it is written, “The reproaches of those who reproached you fell on me.” 4 For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. 5 May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, 6 that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
1. What did Paul mean, and whom was he talking to, when he said, “We who are strong”?
2. Who is our example in the passage? What specifically are we to emulate?3. What two things did Paul say to give us hope?
4. What is the goal of this passage?
5. Who are the “weak” in your life and what, practically, can you do to serve them in the model of Jesus?
RESPOND TO GOD
We are called to serve each other, to act in the best interest of our brothers and sisters as it honors the Lord. If we are to follow the example of Christ, who came to serve and not to be served, then we will look for every opportunity to put another’s needs before our own. If you’re like me, that is much easier to say than do. Let me invite you to pray with me: Father, please forgive me and help me to repent of the sins of selfishness, pride, and being judgmental. These sins are an affront to you and break down my relationships. Help me by Your Spirit’s power to replace those things with patience, encouragement, and discernment to know how to bear with others as they bear with me.
- Ask God to show you the people from whom you may need to seek forgiveness in order to repair a relationship.
- Ask God for wisdom and healing in your relationships.