Strength for Weakness
God on Monday
‘We who are strong ought to put up with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves’
Many of us observe firsthand those suffering hardship, such as physical illness, bereavement, or financial challenge. Scaring from the mental trauma involved in such crises can remain for years. The same is true at the communal and global levels. Many across the world are still coming to terms with the devastation of the Covid19 pandemic; the war in Ukraine; and the loss of Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
What is our response to those who suffer? Does the inconvenience involved in helping them mean we turn away, or do we imitate Jesus’s love and compassion?
Paul’s letter to the Romans highlights the responsibility of the strong. As the verse above makes clear, the strong are morally obliged to bear with the weak. Christians ought, therefore, to regard this duty as part of their job description. The late Queen certainly did. She understood that service means sacrifice.
Yet as the Queen’s life also appears to demonstrate, those who please others, rather than themselves, will prosper. As the writer of ancient wisdom puts it, ‘Generous persons will prosper, those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed’ (Prov 11:25). This exchange is reflected ultimately in Jesus, who having rescued us whilst we were weakened by sin, is now exalted as Lord.
Are there any ‘weak’ people in your circle with whom you have failed to share your strengths? Consider whether you may be extending their suffering unnecessarily.
Thank you Father for pouring your love into my heart. Let me be selfless in my service of others. By your Spirit, help me strengthen the weak with wisdom and sensitivity. When I am weak, help me accept the strength of others. Thank you for the privilege of bearing each other’s burdens. Amen.
During your conversations this week, listen out for opportunities to show support. Pay attention to body language. What is being asked of you?
, Healthcare Chaplain, Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham
God on Monday is produced in partnership with the Church of England. The reflections are based on the scriptural readings designated for the coming Sunday in the Church's lectionary. You can sign up to Faith in Business here to receive each God on Monday instalment.
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