Some years ago I had a neighbour who drove me absolutely mad. He belittled my faith and somehow, every time I saw him, he had to say something derogatory. Some little jab just to annoy me. Seriously, there were times when I felt like reaching down his throat and tearing his heart out!
We all have people like that in our lives from time to time. I remember saying to my wife on many occasions, “There’s no way we’re having that guy over to our place again. No way!”
But it’s funny how God works in our hearts. It turned out that He’d put that obnoxious neighbour there, in the apartment right down the hallway, to do a work in me.
Romans 15:1-3 Some of us have no problem with these things. So we should be patient with those who are not so strong and have doubts. We should not do what pleases us but do what pleases them and is for their good. We should do whatever helps everyone grow stronger in faith. Even Christ did not live trying to please himself. As the Scriptures say about him, “Those people who insulted you have also insulted me.”
When I read that, I realised that I was making this all about me. And God spoke directly to my heart, as He’s prone to do through His Word.
Stop making this about you. Stop doing what pleases you and set about helping that guy. Be patient with him. Do whatever it takes to help him develop a strong faith in Jesus. The same Jesus who bore much worse insults for the likes of you.
We all do it, don’t we? We make it about us. When all along God has given us neighbours like that guy, so that we can serve them, the way Jesus served us. Do you have any people like that in your life?
That’s God’s Word. Fresh … for you … today.