Becoming a disciple: Being all things to all people

Scripture – 1 Corinthians 9:22

I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some.

Observation

So what does this really mean – becoming all things to all people? Does it mean that we need to live on the streets in order to reach the homeless, start taking drugs in order to reach drug addicts, break our legs in order to reach those unable to walk? No.

The word we are searching for is Empathy. Being able to put oneself in someone else’s shoes isn’t always easy but a willingness to see the world from someone else’s perspective is critical in sharing the gospel. It’s a lot easier now than in Paul’s time – when he was preaching the gospel, he was one of a handful doing it, so he needed to be able to connect with the teacher, the doctor, the homemaker, the lawyer, the philosopher, the chef, the builder, the artist…all the while he was a traveling tent-maker with a background in strict Judaism.

Today, there are hundreds of millions of believers in Jesus across the world, with every possible background, past experience, language, education, occupation, social-economic status and location covered. We are the body of Christ and we are called to be all things to all people that we might win some.

Application

Let’s think about our lives, our circles of influence, our skills, our experiences, our education and our occupations. What group of people do we find it easy to empathize with? Whose story can we truly relate to? If the Church is to be all things to all people so that we might win some, then let’s start with each of us being one thing to one person.

Prayer

Jesus, as I reflect on my life up to this point, and take account of the story you have weaved, with the various experiences, relationships, locations and roles I have had, show me the one person in my life today who needs to hear the truth about you. Teach me to understand the reason for the tapestry of my life and show me how to be that one thing to that one person. You bought me with a price and I submit my life to you this morning. You are so very worthy. I love you God, in Jesus’ name, amen.

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