We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. (ESV)
There are those in the body of Christ who are strong and those who are weak. We may not like these categorical distinctions, but they are reality. Scripture talks about those who are babes in their faith, and those who have matured and are eating solid food (Hebrews 5:12-13). We need to understand the distinction and how to live accordingly.
Those who are strong are the ones who have matured in their faith in Christ. They are grounded in their knowledge of the Word of God. Their conscience has been finely tuned to be in submission to what God's Word declares. This maturity brings a freedom. They are not questioning their every move because their behavior has been consistently informed by the Word of God.
Those who are strong could easily find the failings of the weak to be a burden. Not only are the strong supposed to bear with the failings of the weak they are supposed to selflessly support them. The weak are going to need to be strengthened. There are lessons they have not learned yet. The strong believers need to set a loving example and help the weak along.
I think of a childhood memory. My sister could ride a bike. I could not. I was the little brother. Annoying. My dad asked my sister to teach me how to ride a bike. She gave up her time and walked me up and down the street for hours while I pedaled the bike. She encouraged me. She selflessly loved me. I learned that day how to ride a bike.
If you have walked a long time with the Lord ask him to show you a younger believer you can encourage. Ask the Lord to give you patience as you give instruction. You will likely need it. The body of Christ will be blessed by your obedience.
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