Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings. I Corinthians 9:19-23 NIV
This passage is in the middle of three chapters in the letter written by Paul to the church at Corinth that are addressing the overall principle that all things should be done for the glory of God. This passage has to be looked at in the context of the freedom we have as believers in Christ along with the consideration we must have for the people around us with whom we hope to share Christ’s love. In I Corinthians 10:23 Paul writes, “’I have the right to do anything,’ you say—but not everything is beneficial. ‘I have the right to do anything’—but not everything is constructive. No one should seek their own good, but the good of others.” Paul is talking about many different behaviors as they relate to new believers and to those who have not yet understood Christ’s love. But one of the main issues in the Corinthian church at the time was whether or not it was permissible to eat meat sacrificed to idols. If you want to understand this teaching more fully, I encourage you to read and study Chapters 8 – 11:1 of I Corinthians. But the overall principle of a mature believer taking into consideration another person’s point of view, or customs, or beliefs in order to be better able to present the gospel in a way that it is understood is, I believe, the point Paul is making here. He does not change his message so that it violates God’s law, but he does consider what is beneficial for the audience he is trying to reach for Christ.
So how do we do this too? Are you currently involved in a local outreach that impacts people here in your own neighborhood? If not, here are some ideas of places and ways you could serve people in and around South Fellowship and have an impact for God’s kingdom right here in Littleton. Join a prayer walk Hannah Levers – praying for refugees, serve at Graceful Café, help at the South Food Bank, tutor with Whiz Kids or with North Littleton Promise, or help Family Promise. Remember Paul’s advice to seek the good of others, while presenting Christ’s love for others in a way that can be understood by the person you are sharing with.
By Grace Hunter