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Bearing with Failings

Staff Member
We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Romans 15:1 ESV

The call in today’s verse is for the strong Christian—the man who is deeply rooted in Gospel truth—to bear with the failings of his weaker brother. Such failings, according to Bible commentator John Gill, “are not subversive of the fundamental doctrines of the Gospel.” In other words, these believers take strong stands on secondary issues rather than the core of orthodoxy.

Examine your current relationships with weaker brothers. How well are you bearing with their misunderstandings on secondary and tertiary issues? Are you quick to try to correct them, feeling good about the fact that you are the stronger brother? This is the very thing Paul forbids here. It’s an indicator that you may not be as strong as you think.

If you find yourself in this boat, recall your early days as a Christian. You may have been a bit zealous over secondary issues, even with the unconverted. Then consider the ways in which a stronger brother gently listened to and guided you in such matters.

Become that brother. Care more about the weaker brother’s sanctification—which is a process, not an event—than you care about being right.

Prayer: Lord, I’m not always quick to bear with the failings of my weaker brothers. I’d rather be known for my love for them rather than as someone who always offers correction.

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