“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 NKJV

This is an interesting verse to me. After reading it about 15 times this week, I can see that it is a
verse we need more today than ever. We are living in a “me” world. Marketing and advertising
strategies are done to make us feel like we are the most important person in the world, and like we
deserve the best things in life. Entitlement has been passed down to our children. If we don’t like
someone or if someone doesn’t measure up to us, we pass them by without a second thought. We as
the church have become the same way. Church should cater to us, if we don’t like something or agree
with something it should be changed, or we leave. Only certain types of people are allowed in some
churches. The big one, if someone is a sinner and falls into temptation then they can’t be part of our
church. These are all things that we have seen or heard if we have been a part of church for any amount
of time. Scary thoughts but true. The crazy thing to me is that we deny that these things happen
instead of becoming truthful and fixing them.
In this verse we see Paul telling the church in Rome that the strong people in the faith of
Christianity to bear with the “scruples” of the weak. Webster's 1828 dictionary gives this description for
scruple,” Doubt; hesitation from the difficulty of determining what is right or expedient; backwardness;
reluctance to decide or to act.” Interesting, those that are strong should bear with the doubts and
hesitation and backwardness of the weak. In other words, we shouldn’t look down on others because of
their doubts, bad choices, or backwards values and morals. We can’t ask these people to leave the
church because of these things. We can’t turn our back on them. In the world today with the
coronavirus spreading, more of us have scruples than ever before. Doubts, fears, morals, values, and
temptation are all around us. Church we should not be a place that people get told how right or wrong
they are, we should be a place that people feel loved no matter how right or wrong they are.
The next part of this verse is where it starts to get interesting. “Not to please ourselves. Let
each of us please his neighbor for his good, leading to edification.” I have read this over and over again
and each time I read it I see it in two different ways. First, I see it saying that each of us should please
our neighbor for our neighbor’s good, leading to edification for our neighbor. This goes in line with the
teachings of Jesus. We should put others first in our lives. We should do things for other’s good. I
looked up edification in the dictionary as well. According to Webster’s 1828 once again edification is
defined as, “A building up, in a moral and religious sense; instruction; improvement and progress of the
mind, in knowledge, in morals, or in faith and holiness.” The church should please our neighbor for their
good and to build them up!!! Not tear them down.
The other way that I see this verse is that we should please our neighbor for our good and
edification. It is good for us when we put others first. It helps to build our morals and knowledge and
faith. It reminds us that we are not entitled, or more important than others. It reminds us that Jesus
didn’t just die for us and people like us, but that he died for all people. -Jabo