A huge part of the counseling I do involves reorienting the counselee’s thoughts, belief’s, and desires from those that are self-worshiping to those that glorify God.
The first 9 verses of Romans 15 contain several clues as to what it means to glorify God. We will look at one way we can bring glory to God in our daily lives in Romans 15:1-9. Today we will look at the beginning part of this passage that you can use with someone who is asking you a “how” question.”
Now we who are strong ought to bear the weaknesses of those without strength and not just please ourselves. Each of us is to please his neighbor for his good, to his edification. For even 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 earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. Now may the God who gives perseverance and encouragement grant you to be of the same mind with one another according to Christ Jesus, so that with one accord you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Therefore, accept one another, just as Christ also accepted us to the glory of God. For I say that Christ has become a servant to the circumcision on behalf of the truth of God to confirm the promises given to the fathers, and for the Gentiles to glorify God for His mercy; as it is written,
“Therefore I will give praise to You among the Gentiles, And I will sing to Your name.” Again he says, “Rejoice, O Gentiles, with His people.” Romans 15:1-10 (NASB)
This passage is oriented around the principle that others are more important than self. This is one of the cornerstones in discipleship counseling because it removes “me” from the center of my heart and life and places glorifying God in its place.
The very first thing we see in the passage is that is we are obligated help carry the weaknesses of those who are less spiritually mature than we are. This does not mean that we are to tolerate or endorse sinful practices or attitudes, but instead we are to set aside the personal liberties we have in Christ for the sake of others.
This is self-sacrificing on the part of one who knows that it is not sinful to do certain things even though “religion” may say otherwise. For example, there is no Scriptural prohibition regarding eating meat on Friday but many religious people don’t do it because they have been taught it is a sin. We could certainly challenge their belief over the dinner table as we order our T-bone steak, but this passage instructs us not to use our liberty in Christ in a manner that would be offensive to a younger believer or even to a non-believer. Philippians 2 also tells us that we are to be considerate of others and take their needs and wishes into account so that we are loving and not offensive.
This is a good lesson for those of us “truth tellers” who tend to be more intent on teaching people why what they are doing is wrong. There are times that being silent is a good thing! There are times to major on the major things like fellowship and love, and kindness and leave the lessons for another day and time. This too can be self-sacrificing….
Glorifying God is an attitude of the heart and is reflected in actions such as self-sacrifice. It is how Jesus glorified the Father as He lived on earth. Repeatedly He stated that He was here to glorify God and repeatedly He stated that God was glorified as Jesus did the will of the Father, which was all about denial of self.