DAY 38 OF 365 IN 2021
1 Corinthians 9:22 To the weak I became weak in order to win the weak. I have [in short] become all things to all men, that I might by all means (at all costs and in any and every way) save some [by winning them to faith in Jesus Christ].
When a person is desperate or makes a passionate plea, you can tell from the tone of the words they speak and their body language. Paul’s letters were written years ago, but as I read them today, it was quite easy to picture the face, emotions and intentions of the author. It was the face of a man so desperate, so eager to attain specific results that he was willing to do all that was possible.
However, looking at the surface value of the words ‘I make myself all things to all men’, we might be inaccurately drawn into concluding that Paul’s desperation pushed him to the limit.
We might think of him as a man who forgot limits, a man who ignored boundaries or one who ripped up and threw away the rule book to embrace as many. Because to make himself ‘all things to all men’, a lot of crossing over is indicated.
If we reflect on those words, we will come to realise that this was not about rule breaking because for Paul, nothing exceeded the excellency of Christ and the message of the Good news. Instead, what he did was not to place himself as “better than” or “over and above” others. Instead, he places himself in the shoes of others so he could say ‘I can identify with a situation as this’.
The living Bible renders it beautifully: ‘
Yes, whatever a person is like, I try to find common ground with him so that he will let me tell him about Christ and let Christ save him’. Thus, He hung on tightly to the message of the Gospel – which has love at its heart and without bending divine tenets and ordinances, he embraced all men. That is an example to see, a path worth following.