1 Corinthians 9:20 “And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law;
21 To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law.
22 To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.”
Paul was able to “fit in” with many crowds. He used his Jewish background to reach Jews. He used his Roman background to reach the Gentiles. He used his weaknesses to reach the weak.
This ability to use different aspects of our lives to reach the lost is often taken for granted. One problem I have with some preachers (and other Christians as well) is that they try to hard to hide their sins, flaws, and failures that they can become disconnected from those they are trying to reach.
I often say, “I don’t trust a perfect person.” This is because we are all sinners and our righteousnesses are as filthy rags. I am a wicked sinner, and I cannot relate to a “perfect” person who is unwilling to be real with me.
I appreciate my pastor, who is up front about his past. He does not hide behind his position or pulpit. I can see myself in him. He becomes like me, and reaches me.
I’ve sat under other pastors who keep their sins hidden – whether out of shame or a false notion that their leadership requires silence about those things, I do not know. Perhaps they should be like Paul and become weak to gain the weak.
I pray that I continue to grow and use my wide-ranging abilities and shared interests to connect with others in a meaningful way. I pray that by showing that I am a sinner who has been redeemed, I can reach sinners seeking to be redeemed.