By Freya Galindo Guevara
“ . . . I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some.” 1 Corinthians 9:22
When the message of salvation has changed our lives, we become passionate about sharing it. That implies that we must find better ways to share it, both energetically and effectively. The Apostle Paul had an intense desire to share the Word of God and his own testimony with other people. He realized something important. Even though he wanted to share with everyone, when he traveled to different cities and towns he found that each one was different. They looked, thought and behaved in different ways. Is it possible to share the same message with people who are so very different from one another?
He gives us the answer to this important question: the answer is yes. Paul mentions that he voluntarily chose to act as a servant and, by doing so, win the most people possible. The principles don’t change, and neither does his identity rooted in Christ, but he tries to enter the distinct environment of each group of people. His only purpose is to share the message of the gospel, not only with words, but also by living among them. Paul is not toying with his Christian behavior, but he does try to understand the perspective of different groups, not from afar but rather up close, even becoming like them.
We are all surrounded by people who are different but share something in common. They all need God. Maybe they don’t look or speak much differently, but they assuredly think differently from us. Are we trying to understand their perspective? From a safe distance, do we try to share the only message that can change their lives? Or do we make an effort to draw close to those who are in need?
The urgency and importance of speaking the gospel compels us to get close to people. We must choose voluntarily, without losing our Christian identity, to become like them so that they can hear the salvation of God and also see it through our testimony.
*Freya Galindo serves as a missionary with the Church of the Nazarene and is Global Missions Coordinator in the Central Field: Costa Rica, Cuba, Panama, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.