Becoming All Things to All People

In First Corinthians 9:22 Paul says, "I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some." What does this mean? The other day two men and I were eating in a restaurant.  Our server who was a young lady said to each of us phrases like, "what do you need honey" or maybe "what do you want to drink baby?"  Sometimes I hear these same phrases from a lady who works in a convenient store near my home when I am checking out. No doubt in some places of the world these phrases would seem inappropriate. Yet all three of the men in the restaurant took no offense whatsoever at these phrases. In northern Louisiana and other places in the south, most of the time these are simply words used in a public environment from people, typically women, to be friendly and courteous.  Rather than be offended or surprised by her very friendly terms, one of the men in our group took to the time to ask this young lady about her church life and her relationship with the Lord. This man was putting into practice Paul's instruction to try and connect with people in order to lead them to the Lord.

How much do we pay attention to our cultural environment?  Not long ago I made a visit to my neighbor who follows the teachings of Islam.  When I walked into his house, I noticed some shoes lined up on a wall and that everyone was barefooted.  I quickly took off my shoes!  How terrible it would be if me forgetting to take off my shoes became a distraction in our communication.  In our efforts to connect with other people, Paul's instruction should never be interpreted that we should do anything that would violate our own personal Biblical convictions.

So, as we go to work, school, to a store, the gym, on vacation, or whever we are, may we always strive to make connections with people who cross our paths in order to share the gospel.  Sometimes it takes a little extra time and effort to do this, but it's well worth it when you consider you're planting seeds which may lead to a person one day becoming a Christian.