All Things for All Men
Wear Different Hats
Apostle Paul speaks about being all things to men, so that he can reach all men, to win some to Christ.
1 Corinthians 9:19-23
For though I be free from all men, yet have
I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more.
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;
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
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.
And this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I might be partaker
thereof with you.
What Paul was saying is that we need to be willing to adapt to reach whoever we can. Exactly what Jesus did. This means that instead of being stuck in saying I am an introvert or an extrovert, I am a serious or a fun person. I am Type A or Type B, etc we should be willing to adapt to the situation we are in for the moment. We should not put ourselves or others in a box.
Each of us needs to have our identity in Christ, not in our character or personality traits. Yes, all of us lean towards certain traits, but that does not mean we cannot adapt.
Wear Different Hats
What Apostle Paul was saying is that he was not stuck on being or looking a certain way. He was a Jew but he could wear the Gentile hat. He was the Apostle Paul but he could wear the common man hat.
The greatest example of someone wearing different hats was Jesus. He operated in various roles as He was here on earth. He was fully God, but also fully man. He took authority over demons and yet did not take control of the demonic forces behind his crucifixion. He could be loving and caring to the woman caught in adultery and yet also be very direct to the legalistic Pharisees. At times he would speak in parables and other times he was blatantly direct. He spoke of love and also spoke of judgment.
Author Dick Staub wrote a book titled Too Christian, Too Pagan. It talks about the life of Jesus. Jesus was too Christian for the Pagan and too Pagan for the Christian. Ultimately while on earth He could please no group specifically. Instead it was the ones that were willing to receive His love.
Can’t Please Everyone
If Jesus cannot please everyone, we certainly cannot please everyone. Notice Apostle Paul did not say he pleased everyone. That should never be our goal. If it is we will have to avoid speaking the truth which Jesus did and were are commanded by Scripture to do. Of course in love. But even when in love there will be those who will question the love. Too many times people define love by their perspective but not God’s perspective. Jesus only operated out of love. Even when He spoke very harsh, direct words. Again, it is about being all things for all men, to reach some.
No More Boxes
So what if we stop putting God and people in our own boxes. Yes, some of us have very large boxes but they still are boxes. Just because someone says or does something different than us does not automatically mean they are ‘too loving’, ‘not loving enough’, ‘too soft’, ‘too judgmental’.
My Own Story
At times I struggle with the call of God in my life. It seems He has out me on a path that always requires wearing different hats. At times I am the recovery pastor, other times I am the marriage counselor, I am the one who speaks prophetically, other times the one who is the encourager….. I have learned to accept the call of God, whatever it may look like. I make the conscious choice to have the biggest box possible.
I many times have received mixed messages from people. Some tell me as a pastor I should speak more in regards to politics and give me praise when I do. Others tell me pastors should not talk about politics. Some tell me I should be more ‘politically correct’. Others praise me for not being politically correct. Some say I speak too direct, others say "right on, finally a pastor speaking direct".
How do I handle all this? For me it has to do with the timing, the audience, the venue, etc. From the pulpit I do not address politics hardly at all. I believe the pulpit is specifically for the preaching the Word of God, not politics. I use Facebook mainly for the exhorter side of my life. I am trying to reach different people on Facebook than in my church ministry.
I try to be balanced and in the will of God. Do I err? Absolutely! Can I lean a certain way? Absoluely! However, when I am aware I repent. When I am not aware, God brings others to make be aware.I have learned to not judge my own heart but let God judge it. I can’t trust my own judgment. 1 Corinthians 4:1-6
Let’s give each other grace to be all things for all men to win some.
Richard D. Dover