Constancy of Character-2

     We have been thinking about some things centered about the theme of constancy. Last week we began in Romans 12 with the subject being "constancy of character." This week we continue our thoughts.
Paul deals with a number of ideas in this chapter but one of them is that even though we are many members we are still one body (Romans 12:5). He expands on this theme here. We also find this idea set in 1 Corinthians 12.

     Staying with Romans 12, let's think about how being in "one body" relates to the concept of constancy.
As Paul says here, each one of us has our own unique abilities. We ought to use them as best we can. The one thing we cannot do is allow the fact that we have been enabled by God in a particular area to cause us to feel a sense of superiority to someone who is enabled in a different way. The Christian character must be grounded in the essential truth that we are God's creation (Genesis 1:27). As such, whatever ability or strength we may have was given to us by God.

     It is contrary to Christian character for one of us to look down on another of us.
This forms the context for the first part of Romans 12:9: "Let love be without dissimulation" (KJV). Another word for dissimulation is "hypocrisy" which has in it the idea of being "two-faced." If we truly love each other with the understanding that there is no spiritual hierarchy in the body of Christ our love will be consistent and applied to every member equally.

     Yet some would say, "Are there not strong Christians and weak Christians?" Certainly. Others may say, "Are there not Christians who are sinning?" Again, certainly.

     In the first place we all have a strong moments and our weak moments. We are to help the weak and be kind toward all (1 Thessalonians 5:14). It might be good to remember our own moments of weakness when we consider some feebleness of mind in others. And to the point on sinning Christians: Which one of us never sins? John told us that we all are in that boat! (1 John 1:5-10).
Look to Romans 12:10: "Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honor preferring one another" (KJV). This is the manifestation of the principle Paul set forth in verse 5 and 9. Instead of looking at one another in a comparative mode, instead look at one another in a compassionate mode.

     Though it is truly hard to do at sometimes (and with some people) we have to do our best to consider them with affection and brotherly love. This is as big a challenge as we have as God's people and it is a challenge that is with us everyday. But as the old preacher said, "When you point a finger at someone else there are at least three fingers pointing back at you."

     Constancy of character is a tough thing to maintain. But it is essential. The mind of Christ is a great thing (Philippians 2:5-11). His character was flawless. Ours will not be. But we can live our lives with that goal. And that we not only can do, we must do.