1Co 9:19 For though I was free from all men, I brought myself under bondage to all, that I might gain the more.
1Co 9:20 And to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, not being myself under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law;
1Co 9:21 to them that are without law, as without law, not being without law to God, but under law to Christ, that I might gain them that are without law.
1Co 9:22 To the weak I became weak, that I might gain the weak: I am become all things to all men, that I may by all means save some. (ASV)
We need to become all things to all people. In our modern-day, Westernized society, the emphasis is on being unique and individual. Unlike collectivistic cultures, we Americans value and honor those whose primary concern is themselves, their interests and their lives. We give them labels like ‘mavericks,’ ‘lone wolves,’ and the like. And that’s all fine and good.
But we’re in the business of winning people to Christ. We’re in the business of demonstrating the God that has made such a difference in our lives. We are in the business of modeling Christ-like behavior to those whose view of religion may be tainted and scarred by the world around us.
We need to be all things to all people. As Paul states so rightly above, he was free, but chose to be in bondage to everyone (figuratively), so that he might win those to Christ. He became a Jew to the Jews, a law-abider to those who honored the law and a lawless person to those who scorned the law. He also became weak to those that were weak! All in an effort to become someone with whom everyone could relate so that those individuals might be won to Christ.
I know how important we consider our own individuality to be. But, as Paul points out above, it is equally important to be able to become chameleon-like in our efforts to reach out to those who may not be exactly like us. Have you ever noticed how quickly a mother will reach out to another mother? Or a teenager trusts his or her peers more than an ‘old’ person?
You’ve got to get it into your mind to use whatever you need to in order to gain the trust of those who are around you. This is not a popularity contest. This is a real life and death effort to pass on the good news of the Bible to those who so desperately need it.
You may not even need to mention the words “Jesus,” “God,” or the “Bible.” Once people are around you long enough, believe me, they will be very curious about what makes you tick, why you seem so happy in the face of adversity and how they can get in on the good life that you appear to be living.
We need to be all things to all people to win those people for Christ. Explore your options, put yourself out there and build trust and rapport with those around you who are so in need of the knowledge of the Word of God.