Many of Paul’s teachings to the church are so practical to apply in our own lives. In the letter to the Church of Corinth, he writes of meeting others where they are: “Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. To the weak I became weak, to win the weak.
“I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.” (1 Corinthians 9:19-23)
At first glance, it seems contradicting. When we compare this teaching to all the verses that talk about being set apart or not conforming to the world and living differently, it doesn’t seem to make sense. As you dig deeper, Paul has revealed to us something that is needed in our lives. Meeting others where they are is something we often forget because we are caught up in our own walk with God.
A Goal-Focused Walk
In the last verse, Paul says, “I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some.” He gives us his main goal. His priority is to “win as many as possible.” This is important for us to also apply in our life.
What is your goal? Your mission? What is your priority?
When we don’t have goals, then we are more prone to losing focus and derailing from what we ought to do.
We all make goals throughout life. During these 40 Days, we can discuss one goal. The ultimate goal is to see the abortion clinic shut down, but the short-term goal is to see a mom choose life so that another life is saved.
More often than we can count, we have approached the thought of abortion and all those who participate in it as something that completely seperates us. Meeting others where they are is challenging when we feel a division. We might not do it intentionally, but being out on the sidewalk has become an “us” vs. “them.”
Loving Instead of Dividing
Here in this chapter, Paul gives a crucial application that we can practice. If our goal is to see a mom choose life, should we then not meet her where she is? Why would we come to her as a religious person if she is not? (Not to say that we deny Christ or not be Christ-like.)
Like Paul writes, “to the weak I become weak, to win the weak.” Meeting others where they are does not mean that we get an abortion or agree with it in order to reach those who have had one or are for it. What he is getting at is that we must humble ourselves to meet that person at the level they are at and not at the level we are at.
Paul met his audience at the level they were at in hopes of getting them to the level he was at. As hard as it is, this requires listening so that we come to understand where they are in order to speak accordingly to eventually win them over. As you continue in your walk with Christ and mature, let’s not forget where we came from and how we all have and can relate to each other.
Devotional for Day 15 Scripture:
“But the wisdom from above is first of all pure, then peaceable, gentle, compliant, full of mercy and good fruits, without inconstancy or insincerity. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace for those who cultivate peace.” – James 3:17-18
Reflection: Don’t be afraid, my dearest brother, though you may have seen or may still see the devil sending your spiritual discouragement and darkness by filling you with all sorts of evil thoughts and preoccupations in order to disturb the peace and patience of your heart and soul. One ought never to be discouraged because of any struggle one might experience, nor ever abandon any exercise or duty or anything else. If you can do nothing else, at least stand before the cross of and say, “Jesus! Jesus! I entrust myself to our Lord Jesus Christ.” Realize that God’s goodness allows the devil to torment us in order to make us humble ourselves and recognize his goodness, and to make us take refuge within his most tender wounds as a child takes refuge in its mother. Keep living within the tender wounds of Christ, and in God’s holy love. – St. Catherine of Siena
Prayer: Lord Jesus, we come before you and ask for your Holy Spirit of peace and goodness. We realize that we cannot do anything good in and of ourselves. In our battle against the wickedness of the spirit of abortion which continues to plague El Paso and Santa Teresa, help us to surrender to Your love and to transmit Your love, peace, gentleness, and mercy toward the abortionist Franz Theard, and all of the abortion workers at the “Women’s Reproductive Clinic.” May the reality that evil has lived in our own backyard, move each and every one of us to seek your loving, merciful face. Amen.