Story Changing | Our Part | All Things to All People
I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. 1 Corinthians 9:22
Tolerance! Inclusion! Progressive thinking. Is the Bible saying that we should act like our worldly friends, agree with their lifestyle choices, do what they do, sin like they sin, so that maybe they will want to… Yeah, that doesn’t make any sense, does it? Do we cure cancer by infecting ourselves with cancer? Do we cure blindness by poking out our own eyes? Of course not. Neither do we inspire hope by being hopeless nor the desire for righteousness by living unrighteously. Paul (the guy who penned these words) wasn’t known for getting drunk, using foul language, or hanging out in the brothels so he would be accepted. So what did he mean? Let’s go back to that verse and dissect it.
Paul had just detailed an impressive list of his rights and qualifications. He reminded his friends that if they wanted to play one-up, he would win. They had forgotten that Paul was once Saul, a member of Who’s Who in Jerusalem. He had earned the right to live a cushy life, surrounded by books, music, culture, and respect. But he’d set it all aside in order to follow God’s call on his life. Paul could have written his own dictionary, but chose small words in order to reach the uneducated. He deserved tailored Italian suits but wore thrift store duds to win the trust of the poor. He found common ground to earn an audience. We are never to compromise on sin; instead, we are to connect with people in darkness so we can introduce them to the Light of the world.
Final Thought: What areas of your life might create barriers between the truth God gave you and the people who need it?
Prayer: Father, open my eyes to see what areas of my life might create distance between me and the people you want me to reach. Help me set aside my pride, privilege, and prejudices in order to reach people you love. In Jesus’ name, Amen.