How do you know if you are really strong and mature in the faith? If you patiently “bear” with those who aren’t as mature as you. In Galatians, Paul says, “Remember the heights from which you’ve fallen.” When we forget we once were full of “Failings”, we’ll become puffed up and useless in the Kingdom.
What if we stopped taking insults personally, but considered them insults to Christ instead? And if we turn that around and believed that when we insult others, we are truly insulting Christ, would that cause us to speak badly of others less, especially with backhanded compliments?
The Old Testament is there for us, to encourage us, to help us endure in this race Christ has signed us up for. I’m not sure how some churches read the New Testament and then throw out the Old.
It would appear as though Paul is writing this book to the Roman Jews. No wonder it’s the perfect book for us “church people.” Paul says that he is “confident” the readers of this letter are Christ followers, full of goodness, complete and competent. Much like those who have grown up in the church, it’s easy to feel like we know all there is to know. Many are confident we are followers of Christ and full of goodness; however, if our confidence gets the best of us and doesn’t let us “bear” with those who are new to the faith, then perhaps we need to find a way to grow closer to Christ.
Paul knew his calling, and he followed it. How I wish I could know God’s calling for me as clearly.
Paul’s next words tell us we are obligated to share with those who give us Spiritual blessings. It makes me stop and consider, “who has given me spiritual blessings?” “Who do I need to pass along material blessings to because of the Spiritual blessings they’ve given to me?”
Did Paul make it to Rome? I never noticed before that Paul seemed a bit nervous about returning to Jerusalem for fear of arrest. The Jews in Jerusalem were always looking out for him, but Paul seems a little more anxious this time.