Scripture: “For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them.
- To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews.
- To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law.
- To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law.
- To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak.
I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. I do it all for the sake of the Gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings.
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So, run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an IMPERISHABLE. So, I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air, but I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.” 1 Cor 9:19-27
Observation: “I do it for the sake of the Gospel.” Focus on this point.
Analysis: Does the Bible instruct me to be a chameleon? Be one guy here, another guy there?
I think the answer is “not really” although, I acknowledge I don’t know all the time what to do.
I recognize two things from this Chapter:
- Paul talks about a pretty mature mindset in being “this” or “that” in the function of presenting the Gospel, and;
- It all starts somewhere, specifically in self-discipline.
I am very much an advocate of the “line upon line, precept upon precept” approach to maturity. Didn’t used to be, I jumped in wherever my fancy said to. However, I found that to be effective I needed to be 2 things:
- Be open to whatever the Spirit directs and do the best I could, and;
- Develop and/or find a process to steadily grow in Christ.
So, do I jump into weird and questionable situations? No, sure don’t. But, there is an example that I want to emulate: Paul at Mars Hill (Acts 17:22): “Men of Athens, I perceive that in every way you are very religious…what therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you…”
I am no where close to that kind of ability outside of direct intervention of the Holy Spirit.
That’s why I continue to read and study.
Prayer: “Line upon line, precept upon precept”: Lord God, you give the process plainly. I wonder why I don’t pay attention, preferring to flit here and there, according to the whims of my mind. You use even the undisciplined part of me to conform me to the image of the Son. What could you do with me if I would just put my nose to the grindstone a little more often? AMEN