Think, Act, Be, Day 26- 1 Corinthians 9:19-27
I have made myself a slave to all.
In his book Celebration of Discipline, Richard Foster writes about the discipline of service. He says that it’s not a list of things we do—mow the lawn, feed the neighbor’s dog, and teach Sunday School. Service is a lifestyle. In the marketplace of life, we seek out the lowest positions and the menial tasks. We do the jobs that fall under the heading ‘I will never do that.’ He writes, “It’s one thing to act like a servant; it’s another thing to be a servant.”
In 1 Corinthians, Paul writes that in order to reach different kinds of people, we need a different lifestyle. He becomes a “slave to all, that I might win more of them.”
Our job as believers is to do as William Law suggests: “Cover others’ frailties, love their excellencies, encourage their virtues, relieve their wants, rejoice in their prosperities, compassionate their distress, receive their friendship, overlook unkindness, forgive their malice, and condescend to the lowest of office.”
In other words, we become a servant.
19 For though I am free with respect to all, I have made myself a slave to all, so that I might win more of them. 20 To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though I myself am not under the law) so that I might win those under the law. 21 To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law) so that I might win those outside the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, so that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that I might by all means save some. 23 I do it all for the sake of the gospel, so that I may share in its blessings.
24 Do you not know that in a race the runners all compete, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win it. 25 Athletes exercise self-control in all things; they do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable one. 26 So I do not run aimlessly, nor do I box as though beating the air; 27 but I punish my body and enslave it, so that after proclaiming to others I myself should not be disqualified.