God has opened my eyes to so much over the last couple of years that has brought a much deeper understanding to many of the scriptures in the Bible. But recently I met some wonderful people from different countries and walks of life that have given me not only a better understanding what Paul teaches in 1 Corinthians, but what is also taught about Satan and the people of God, the differing levels of faith and the protection of the people of God.
For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a slave to all, so that I may win more. To the Jews I became as a Jew, so that I might win Jews; to those who are under the Law, as under the Law though not being myself under the Law, so that I might win those who are under the Law; to those who are without law, as without law, though not being without the law of God but under the law of Christ, so that I might win those who are without law. To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak; I have become all things to all men, so that I may by all means save some. I do all things for the sake of the gospel, so that I may become a fellow partaker of it. 1 Corinthians 9:19-23
This year, one of the things the Lord keeps putting on my heart to share with others is that you need to step into another persons shoes in order to see things from their prospective, rather than judging them based only on your view point. This is what Paul did – he put himself in the other person’s place. Paul teaches how he became different things in order to reach out and bring the knowledge of salvation to more people, hoping they would be saved.
What God put on my heart about this is that Paul never turned from the truth of the Gospel message, but rather he presented it in such a way that each person would hear the message of salvation in a language they would understand. He didn’t come in presenting himself as a self-righteous Christian to preach the Gospel message, but presented himself as one of those he was with. He never lorded his righteousness over others, but rather humbled himself to be as the other people so when he spoke it would be accepted and not rejected.
We each should strive to be like this. We should not be condemning others for their beliefs, but instead we should humble ourselves to be as they are in order to speak things in a way they would understand.
You would still be preaching the Gospel, but with a language those around you would understand.
People will see what they want to see and hear what they want to hear unless they can step out of the box and be willing to see things differently. Paul helped others get out of the box by putting himself in the box and giving the other person something to stand on so they could get out. Paul did not fear man, but feared God – knowing that no man could ever come against him because he was protected by God.
For many, though, pride gets in the way. Pride causes a person to not humble themselves and not put themselves in a lower position in order to help others see the truth. Pride causes a person to flaunt their righteousness, which puts the other in a self defense mode rather than being an open door. Pride can be a very destructive thing (Proverbs 16:18) and can become a stumbling block to those who have little or no faith.
God will make a way for those who path has been blocked, but as Jesus said “Woe to the man through whom the stumbling block comes!” Matthew 18:7
The word of the Lord calls us to seek humility so that many more will come to know the truth of salvation! Become a stepping stool, not a stumbling block!