Meeting People Where They Are At
I haven’t posted in a while, but I try not to post something just for the sake of having a post. I try to allow my heart to be stirred by the Holy Spirit, and for Him to inspire me to post. This morning He has done just that. I have been reading through 1 Corinthians each morning, and today was chapter 9. As I was reading, I was struck by verses 19-23. These verses read as follows:
“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. 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. 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. 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. I do it all for the sake of the gospel, so that I may share in its blessings.”
I thought upon this passage of scripture for a bit, and thought about how we are to meet people where they are at that time. Paul met each of these different groups of people where they were at. He didn’t meet them after they had met certain requirements, or after they had gone through numerous transformations. No, Paul met them exactly where they were at that time. The Jews were still Jews. The ones under the law were still under the law. The ones outside the law were still outside the law. The weak were still weak. Paul shared with and hung out with these groups of people without having them conform, transform, or abstain from their lifestyle. Scripture says, “I have become all things to all people.” Paul became as they were. Now this doesn’t mean that he participated in the things they were doing. I believe this just means that Paul didn’t place himself above the people. He was equal. Paul didn’t see himself as better than them. Paul didn’t see these groups of people as “lost souls.” Paul saw these groups of people as LOVED by God.
I believe that is exactly how God wants us to see people. People under the law. People outside the law. The weak. Those with different beliefs than we have. All of these different groups of people are LOVED by God. And all have been created in the very image of God. God doesn’t want us to ostracize people because they are different from us (whether in color, race, ethnicity, beliefs, social status, etc.). God wants us to meet them where they are at, and He wants us to LOVE them. We shouldn’t require anything of them, but we should require a lot of ourselves. If we are true believers in Christ, then we are to LOVE all people. And loving people means that we do not have requirements, have hoops to jump through, or expect them to be changed before we have anything to do with them. Loving people means that we meet them where they are at, just as they are at that moment. I believe if we truly LOVED people and met them where they were at without expecting anything of them, they will be transformed because the true expression of Christ has been displayed. And I also believe that we will experience transformation in our own lives because of it.
My challenge to all of us is to meet people where they are at and just LOVE them like Jesus!
Grace and Peace