We then who are strong ought to bear with the scruples of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, leading to edification (Romans 15:1-2). Those of us who are strong and able in the faith need to step in and lend a hand to those who falter, and not just do what is most convenient for us. Strength is for service, not status. Each one of us needs to look after the good of the people around us, asking ourselves, How can I help? (Romans 15:1-2 – The Message).
We had a really awesome men’s meeting this morning. The Lord began to speak to and through many of us of the importance of loving those close to us without demanding that they conform to our wishes. When we expect others to do things our way and refuse to accept them the way they are, we lose.
Many years ago when Susan and I had been married only a few years, God began to deal with me about my perfectionistic twinge. I wanted others to do things my way. Susan took the brunt of this when we were first married. She felt that she had to do things my way to please me. How immature was it of me to create an atmosphere like that in my home!
The Lord began to deal with me about walking in love. He began to show me that I must love Susan the way she is, and try to get her to conform to the way I do things. If I really walk in love, then I must allow her to be herself and not a clone of me. The height of self-centeredness is when I demand that others do things the way I do them.
When Jonathan was a toddler I would find his room in a mess! I would straighten it completely up; shoes lined up in the closet, all toys placed a certain way. A few hours later I would walk back in his room, only to find it looking like a cyclone hit it! Though I had standards, I had to learn that his personality was different than mine. He processed information differently and approached life differently than me. I grew up the day I learned to let my son be himself as he lived with certain home standards. Now, Jon is on his own in life. He’s a different personality than me, and I’m glad. He has abilities that I only wish I had. His abilities would have been stifled if I had not allowed him to be himself apart from me!
Ask yourself, do I allow others to be who they are without making them feel that they must conform to me? Love allows others to move at their pace in life as they grow. Can I be nice and sweet to those who approach life differently than me? This shows my stage of development in the Lord.
This is not something we can do ourselves. We must trust the Master Potter to mold us and shape us as we grow in life. Only He can bring permanent needed change to us. Let us throw ourselves at His feet and ask for His help! He is a very present help in our time of need.