We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up. (Romans 15:1-2)
At first glance, one might look at these two verses and say, oh, this is a straight-forward Bible verse, or this is an easy one to figure out, and we would be wrong. There is so much more here than just us holding up our weaker believers. In fact, God expects that we not just hold up our neighbor when they seem to be failing in their beliefs, but we should do whatever is necessary to inspire them to believe, inspire them to be more than they can imagine themselves. Paul was trying to get the message out that real caring involves not just holding up others when they are having doubts; we must do whatever it takes to actually pick them up and carry them until their own faith can sustain them.
This is unlike any other caring we have witnessed so far. If our neighbors are struggling in their faith, then to show our caring for them, we must show and teach them directly from the Word as God gave it to all of us. We show how we care by sharing God’s Word from truth found in the Scriptures.
Many might say this is an odd way to show how we care for one another, but what truer form of caring is there? Remember, the definition for caring states that one cares when they display kindness and concern for another. What better way to care for someone than to show kindness and concern for their spiritual self or their soul?
When we build up our fellow believers in their times of doubt, we are looking from our own interest to those of Christ. We are pleasing God and others without regard for pleasing ourselves. In practicing this form of caring, we are learning to live in harmony with God and our fellow man; we are helping to raise those around us that may be weaker or less knowledgeable. It also provides us the opportunity to live in accordance with Christ and his teachings. What a wonderful form of caring; let’s pass it on!