Sometimes, God knows, we need to have the same message repeated to us several times. And, as Paul transitions from the 14th chapter of Romans to the beginning of chapter 15, we find his closing thought repeated in the opening of the new chapter.
“We who are strong must be considerate of those who are sensitive about things like this. We must not just please ourselves. We should help others do what is right, and build them up in the Lord.” Romans 15:1,2 NLT
Even Christ, says Paul, did not live to please Himself. He, Who had the ultimate liberty and authority, the strongest faith of any, allowed Himself to be attacked, insulted, and vilified by His contemporaries. If you are ever tempted to think “Why must I give up something that is perfectly fine, only because it might offend someone who doesn’t even know what the score is?”– think of Christ on the cross. He did not even try to set the record straight as He was mocked, as He was derided as a blasphemer, a deceiver, a seditionist. He did not proclaim His innocence, the fact that He was willingly taking upon Himself the righteous punishment of the guilty souls that surrounded Him. He did not cling to His privileges as God, nor attempt to salvage His reputation. Instead, He asked His Father to forgive His murderers, who did not know what they were doing.
The ministry and the sacrifices of Jesus Christ while He walked this earth were entirely for the benefit of others. He made it possible for men, who were hopelessly separated from God, to be forgiven, to become the beloved children of God. He wants us to grow into mature sons and daughters of God, and He has allowed us the privilege of participating in the building up of one another, in the strengthening of His whole body, the Church.