Finding common ground

December 23rd, 2016

I was reading 1 Corinthians 9 this morning. This is where the Apostle Paul talks about sharing his faith in Christ with others. It says verse 9-23 it says…

“Even though I am a free man with no master, I have become a slave to all people to bring many to Christ. When I was with the Jews, I lived like a Jew to bring the Jews to Christ. When I was with those who follow the Jewish law, I too lived under that law. Even though I am not subject to the law, I did this so I could bring to Christ those who are under the law. When I am with the Gentiles who do not follow the Jewish law, I too live apart from that law so I can bring them to Christ. But I do not ignore the law of God; I obey the law of Christ. When I am with those who are weak, I share their weakness, for I want to bring the weak to Christ. Yes, I try to find common ground with everyone, doing everything I can to save some. I do everything to spread the Good News and share in its blessings.”

I love the way Paul realises the importance of fitting in to your environment and interacting with people in their own ways and context.

Paul’s heart is to fit in with the local culture and live like them so he can reach them for Christ. When with Jews he lived like Jews. When with Gentiles he lived like Gentiles.

Paul is not saying to dive right into the culture where it directly collides with our faith in Christ, but he is saying we need to relax and fit in with the people we are trying to reach.

As a real life practical example. In the past a friend asked me to go to a pub (bar, tavern), play pool and have a couple of beers. It was a rough place and I didn’t quite feel completely comfortable, but I went.

We played pool, had a beer and talked about life and I think he appreciated me going with him. But I did draw the line at going into the section where they had topless barmaids as this would have compromised my faith. I explained that and he respected me.

The reason I share this is because sometimes we need to do things that our friends and the local culture does to fit in. It is important to relax and go with the flow sometimes to reach people. But we need to politely say no if it conflicts with our faith in Christ.

God Bless,
Dave

 
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