All Things To All Men

I Corinthians 9:22
I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.

What did Paul mean when he said he became “all things to all men?”  Was he talking about compromising just to fit in?  You know, when in Rome do as the Romans.  It is so easy in today’s world to compartmentalize your life and be many different people.  After all, you can now be in Rome with a click of the mouse.  Are you one person at church, another at home, still another at work and yet a completely different person online?  What I mean is do you act and behave differently based on the crowd you are with?  Do you speak Christianese at church but drop F bombs online?  Are you the loving husband or wife at home, but sensual and flirtatious online? Do you get caught up with dirty jokes at work because you don’t want to be the odd man out?  These are all easy traps to fall into.  In reality, they tear down our witness and render us void of God’s power for living.

Back to my original question: what did Paul mean by becoming “all things to all men?”  Paul’s purpose in life was to win souls to Christ.  To do so he knew he needed to make Christ relevant to every strata of society: the Jews, the Gentiles, those under the Law, those without the Law, the strong, and the weak.  He brought Christ to them in a way that they could understand and relate to.  He didn’t take on their customs and behavior in order to do so.  Paul made it clear in Romans 12:2:

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

The Greek word for “conformed” means, “external patterns that don’t come from within.”  Where are you taking your lead from?  The Holy Spirit within or the world all around you?  God’s Word tells us that we are ambassadors for Christ (2 Cor. 5:20), meaning we are to represent Him wherever we go.  There is a difference between being made all things and becoming everything.  Do you become everything that your current crowd expects you to be, or do you dare to be different for Christ?

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