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Finding common ground (1)

2 December 2023 ‘I try to find common ground with everyone.’ 1 Corinthians 9:22 NLT

To be a good influence on someone, you need to connect with them first. And to do that, you have to look for common ground. Paul wrote, ‘I try to find common ground with everyone, doing everything I can to save some.’ In The Message, Eugene Peterson paraphrases Paul’s words: ‘Even though I am free of the demands and expectations of everyone, I have voluntarily become a servant to any and all in order to reach a wide range of people: religious, nonreligious, meticulous moralists, loose-living immoralists, the defeated, the demoralised – whoever. I didn’t take on their way of life. I kept my bearings in Christ – but I entered their world and tried to experience things from their point of view. I’ve become just about every sort of servant there is in my attempts to lead those I meet into a God-saved life. I did all this because of the Message. I didn’t just want to talk about it; I wanted to be in on it!’ (vv. 19-23 MSG). Remember the words ‘I entered their world and tried to experience things from their point of view’. When it came to preaching the truth, Paul wouldn’t give an inch. But when it came to reaching and influencing people for Christ, he tried to remove every obstacle between them and Christ. And we must be willing to do the same. People don’t care how much we know until they know how much we care. That’s why we have to try to approach them heart-first, not head-first. Before someone can accept the truth of God’s Word that we have to share, they have to be sure that we love and care for them. And that means finding common ground.

Archive

The right balance Tuesday 28 May
Are you a true friend? Monday 27 May
Don’t strike back Sunday 26 May
Train your brain Saturday 25 May
Stand on God’s Word (5) Friday 24 May
Stand on God’s Word (4) Thursday 23 May
Stand on God’s Word (3) Wednesday 22 May

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