If you want to win people to Christ, you won’t do it with a holier-than-thou attitude. Sadly, this is how society sees many Christians; their hearts are in the right place, but their ability to relate with compassion to those outside their immediate circle does God no favours. If you want people to respond to the Gospel, take a leaf from Paul’s book. He said: ‘Though I am a free man with no master, I have become a slave to all people to bring many to Christ… When I was with the Jews, I lived like a Jew… When I am with the Gentiles who do not follow the Jewish law, I too live apart from that law… When I am with those who are weak, I share their weakness… I try to find common ground with everyone, doing everything I can to save some.’ (1 Corinthians 9:19–22 NLT)
Now before you think Paul was soft on sin, he adds: ‘But I do not ignore the law of God; I obey the law of Christ. I do everything to spread the Good News.’ (1 Corinthians 9:21–22 NLT)
Paul could relate to unbelievers without endorsing their lifestyle because he remembered what he himself was like before God transformed him on the Damascus road. Being the recipient of God’s grace enabled Paul to write: ‘“Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”—and I am the worst of them all. But God had mercy on me so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners.’ (1 Timothy 1:15–16 NLT)
Today, remember what you used to be like.