“Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up.” Romans 15:2
In the previous chapter Paul had talked about not offending someone who believes something that does not go against God’s Word. Now he states that you must please your neighbor for their good and to build them up. This creates a challenge for most people, because at the same time believers are to focus on pleasing God, and not other people.
The “pleasing” here is the lifting up and meeting the needs of the other person. When Jesus walked on the earth, He went around meeting the needs of the people. He would build them up. The only people He would tear down, were those who claimed to serve God but were going against His Word and doing sinful acts. Those who did not claim to serve God, He would meet their needs and build them up. His focus was to please God by reaching out to the lost and showing them who God is. This is their ultimate need.
Some people try to please others by bending to their wishes and changing their views. Often this goes to the point of going against God’s Word. They will do things that Jesus would not do.
In various parts of the Bible it is stated that a believer must be a servant to others. Being a servant to your neighbor is pleasing to them and building them up. It is humbling yourself to meet the needs of others first.
Doing these things will show them the love of Jesus. It will show them how Jesus had given without having received first. It shows how He gives forgiveness and eternal life out of mercy and love.
Pleasing your neighbor is something that can be as simple as just helping clean the yard or bringing them a fresh baked cake. Seek God in how to please them.
Do not be isolated from your neighbor. If you do not ever please them, how will they ever know who Jesus is or what He is like?
Go and please someone today, not to look good or for your benefit, but to show them Jesus. In this process do not compromise your stand with Jesus.
I pray today that God will show you how to please your neighbor; that you be willing to please someone; that you will stay true to Jesus; and that God will draw many to a saving knowledge of Jesus through you.