1 Corinthians 9:19-21
Memorise Proverbs 11:30
“… whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister.”
HOW IS YOUR SERVICE TOWARDS UNBELIEVERS?
In today’s society, people like to talk about their rights. It is all about what I deserve, what people can or cannot do to me and what things I have the right to do and what things I refuse to do, all simply because I feel that it is my right. Then when one’s rights are perceived to have been infringed upon, the first reaction is to protest and complain. Some may even go as far as to resort to violence just to reinstate one’s so-called rights. A person’s rights seem to be sacred. Rarely do you find someone who would voluntarily forgo his rights for any reason.
Today’s Scriptural passage would appear very foreign and very opposite to this norm of society. In 1 Corinthians 9:19, Paul says that although he is not obligated to anyone, yet would he willingly become as a servant to all. Paul is willing to give up his personal rights. In verse 20 and 21 he says that if need be, Paul would be to the Jew as a Jew and to the Gentile as a Gentile. This means that Paul will try his outmost to appeal to the Jew or Gentile, to make him comfortable and accepting of Paul for the sake of the gospel. But, there are some very important things that need to be qualified. Firstly, Paul would not commit sin in order to do this. Secondly, the objective and purpose of Paul giving up his rights is very important; v19 tells us that it is to “gain the more”. Paul’s objective is so that more will come to salvation. We have to be very careful to remember that Paul does not say we would do anything and everything to achieve that. We must still remain true to every part of God’s Word in doing so. What Paul is trying to teach is the attitude behind how we should treat unbelievers. For the sake of their souls, we should be humble to make whatever adjustments on our part so that the gospel can be shared whether in word or by our life example. There is the emptying of self for the sake of winning souls. If it means not pursuing an argument, if it means appearing weak and foolish, if it means personal loss or humiliation, Paul is saying he will be the servant and suffer what is necessary so that the unbeliever can come to know Christ. This should be the heart of the true servant of God towards unbelievers. We should have this love and willingness to give up whatever so-called rights that belong to us so that the gospel can be shared and perchance some come to trust in the Lord and Saviour. What should be in our hearts and minds is the salvation of lost souls and the willingness to make personal sacrifices while remaining holy for their sakes.
Thought: The Christian is so different from the norm.
Prayer: Father, help me to be always humble, especially with unbelievers.