A New Way?
To the weak I became weak, in order to win the weak. I have become all things to all people, so that I may by all means save some. — 1 Corinthians 9:22
In the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games, sprinter Bob Hayes tied the Olympic record on his way to winning the gold medal in the 100-meter dash. Just a few months later, Hayes was dashing past defensive backs as a wide receiver for the Dallas Cowboys. Turning a world-class sprinter into a football player was a radical concept at the time, yet Hayes’s success altered defensive strategy and changed how football is played.
Coaches design drills to improve technique, gain strength, and increase speed. The improvements are typically made in small increments, adding a limited number of pounds to the bench press, or shaving tenths off the 40-yard dash. Hours of work go into making a very small advance. However, there are times when innovation radically redefines the way a sport is played. At such times players must relinquish wooden tennis racquets, wishbone offenses, or steel bicycles, because those who refuse to adapt are defeated.
Innovation is a given in our technological age; societies, cultures, and tastes are constantly shifting. Yet God never changes. Therefore, even though we are called to meet people where they are in life, we must be careful not to alter or water down the truth of God’s message of love and forgiveness. The person and work of Jesus Christ remains the only way to God, and it is this that must be held out to a lost and dying world. Too often today, Christians believe that we must be innovative in our presentation of God’s message, because if we are not, the world will incorrectly assume that the gospel is no longer relevant. But this is not what Paul did when he “became all things to all men.” Paul met individuals where they were weak in order to show them the strength of Christ. If we are faithful to hold forth biblical truth, men and women will respond to God’s call and enter into his kingdom.
1. According to the four Gospels, how did Jesus communicate with His disciples?
2. As they grew in their faith, how did the disciples change?
3. Are you tempted to alter the truth of God’s Word to make it more appealing to people?
Extra Reading: Matthew 5:43–48; Acts 10:11–13; 1 Corinthians 9:19–23
God, thank You that You never change. Lead me into new areas of growth for Your sake. Amen.