“We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification. For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me. For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
In a world saturated with self-gratification, these verses jumped out to me. Paul was reminding the Roman believers that, as brothers and sisters in Christ, we are to encourage and edify others, especially those who are “weak.” Almost every time, the easy thing to do is to gratify self – do what feels good to me. But I have found that every time I choose to please myself in my actions or even my reactions to situations that cross my path, it results in something that does not resemble Christlikeness in any way.
Being personally transparent here, I was wrestling with this idea as I sat here trying to get settled on the mission field. I have not even been here for one month, and already my selfishness was rearing its ugly head in my thoughts and sometimes in my actions. This chapter was on a scheduled reading for me that was begun months ago. Isn’t it just like our God to have exactly what we need from His Word at the exact time that we need it?
Look at the end of the passage included above – the ultimate goal is to be likeminded, to think with one mind and to speak with one mouth. Why? To glorify our Savior. May the ultimate goal of likemindedness for His glory never be hidden from our view no matter how difficult our circumstances may seem!