Thinking of Others
What a challenge Paul puts before us to only think of others, never of ourselves.
I recently heard someone talk about how Christians want to be caring for the needy and they don't realize that the needy are actually taking advantage of us. I don't know how trustworthy an assessment it was...it was a really generalized statement. But I thought about it afterward and I realized that even if everything that person said was true, it wouldn't stop us. Because to be a Christian is to follow Christ and Christ allowed Himself to be taken advantage of...to the point of death on the cross. We don't help the needy or our neighbor or whoever we are caring for because they are good, sweet, and perfect. We think about others because Christ thought about us, even when we least deserved it. Being a Christian means suffering persecution, abuse, and injustice in HIS Name. We don't welcome it for the sake of itself, but for the sake of His glory.
This passage of Romans isn't even talking about all that I am...but it's not a far step away.
We are to treat each other in the church as we want to be treated...it's really hard. Because I'm tired. But maybe if we all did this we wouldn't be so tired.