Jesus Did Not Please Himself

To not think first about pleasing ourselves is counter-cultural.  For all those who discern the will of God by ease and comfort it is a slap in the face.

In difficult situations the stronger person can more easily give up their rights.  The weaker person emotionally, spiritually, or physically needs the stronger one to give way on an issue so that they can get along.  The weaker one can not create unity by giving up their strong feelings, whereas the stronger individual can see the bigger picture and does not have to please themselves.  The example in the passage below is Jesus.  Jesus did not choose a way that brought him immediate pleasure.  He chose a path of personal pain and sacrifice that was best for us.  He saw the good that could be achieved for others and he chose their good over his own.

I am in a difficult situation where I see things very differently from others.  I think that investing my money in a project could be ruinous.  Others think that we have the money to invest.  The passage below challenges me, but I don’t know whether to just surrender my position for the sake of unity or whether to hold fast because of integrity.  It’s not a moral issue, it’s purely fiscal.  So, the application of the passage below is quite difficult.  However, we should err toward not just pleasing ourselves.  We should check our motives.

We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbour for his good, to build him up. For Christ did not please himself, but as it is written, “The reproaches of those who reproached you fell on me.”For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.


About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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