“Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all“
uphold the weak,
The word “weak” comes from two words: without and strength. A weak person is without strength. These people are immature in their Christian walk.
The word “uphold” means to join with and to maintain loyalty. “Weak” people need someone to come alongside and “uphold” them until they can mature in their faith. People have different weaknesses in the areas of sexual lust, financial integrity, and vulnerability to criticism. Whatever the weakness, strong Christians are to move alongside them and stick to them like glue to carry them through their weakness.
Mature Christians are to be there for immature Christians.
Some people neglect their spiritual lives, so mature believers should stir them to action. There are many Christians who are spiritually weak. Usually, these are people who do not know the principles of the Word of God so that they can apply them to their experience. These people are vulnerable to the slightest enticement. They will quickly wander off into compromise or sensual sins.
“For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil” (Hebrews 5:12-14).
There is a proclivity to push the weak away from us in exasperation with their weakness. The mature Christian, however, holds up the weak until they can get on their feet. We do not denounce or desert them. Instead, they need mature Christians to help on the way. God places the strong in the church to help the weak. Maturity can sustain immaturity.
“We then who are strong ought to bear with the scruples of the weak, and not to please ourselves” (Romans 15:1).
If soldiers fall injured in a war, they need someone to come alongside to give support until they can make it to the medic. Mature Christians can transform immature Christians. We have a responsibility to other members of the household of faith.