“Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, leading to edification» (Romans 15:2).
IN ROMANS 15, Paul continued to give practical advice. The apostle encouraged those who are experienced in the faith to support beginners and the weak because the Christian life is not a search for one’s own self-satisfaction. It is necessary to think of others, to advise, and to lead by precept and example, living in obedience to God.
Paul shows himself as someone who planned, but who submitted his plans to divine will. Planning is human, but execution comes from the Lord. God’s will is clearly manifested in Scripture. Therefore, the more we read, the more we understand and the better we know God’s will for us. Complete peace is only the result of God’s presence in our lives.
To please means to establish a positive relationship of peace that makes the other person feel good; it is not pleasing just for the sake of pleasing. To please the other means to stop insisting on your rights and desires and subordinate them to the welfare of your brothers and sisters, including those who are weak or prejudiced. This attitude is intentional: it is to benefit them spiritually and nurture them in their Christian growth and maturity. Paul did not mean that principles or the truth were to be watered down in order to please others. The model of service and kindness is our own Lord: «In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus» (Phil. 2:5, NIV).
Certain elements are basic for building the body:
Breathing. Air that lacks enough oxygen can lead to drowsiness, suffocation, or death. In the spiritual sense, prayer is as essential as oxygen because «prayer is the breath of the soul. It is the secret of spiritual power. No other means of grace can be substituted and the health of the soul be preserved» (Messages to Young People, p. 249).
Nourishment. We need to feed ourselves well every day. We obtain the nutrients that maintain a healthy life from a balanced diet; likewise, good daily spiritual food is indispensable. The prophet Jeremiah said, «Your words were found, and I ate them, and Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart» (Jer. 15:16). Studying the Bible and the Sabbath School Guide and reading the morning devotion and the books of the Spirit of Prophecy constitute essential daily nourishment.
Exercise. If we do not exercise, our bodies will atrophy. Similarly, if we do not do missionary exercise, we will lose our spiritual strength.
We need to mature and grow, to leave behind the childish selfishness that wants everything for itself, so we can live in faithfulness, in service to God and to others.
Pray always, study the Word daily, and do missionary exercise . . . every day! that saves others and also ourselves.