The greater cause

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Paul understood that to speak of Jesus, he needed to meet people where they were. That doesn’t mean he wallowed in sin in order to be “one of the guys,” but he abstained from those things that the ones he he was approaching found offensive, even if those practices weren’t something to which he he personally objected. When I taught 5th grade, I kept a little scrap of paper in my desk drawer that read, “To teach them I first have to reach them”—meaning, before I could teach a lesson I needed to understand and care about my students’ learning styles. Getting to know them and to care about them opened up the relationship of instructing and receiving. Paul humbled himself and offered grace so his message about salvation would be accepted by those to whom he spoke. Sometimes as believers we have to set aside our personal “rights” or our “comfort zone” for the greater cause of sharing the gospel.