‘…I try to find common ground…’ 1 Corinthians 9:22 NLT
Tact is the knack of making a point without making an enemy. To win someone over, you must first do two things: (a) understand them; (b) become comfortable with diversity. Paul wrote, ‘…So I can bring them to Christ…I try to find common ground with everyone…’ (1 Corinthians 9:2122 NLT) Paul wouldn’t yield a millimetre when it came to the truth, but his strategy was always one of love. Whether he was speaking to Jews, Greeks, Romans or barbarians his message never varied. But his approach did. When people know you respect them you’re more effective at helping them to change. Speaking to those who were willing to alienate someone over a fine point of theology, Paul writes, ‘In Christ, there is no difference between [you]… You are all the same in Christ Jesus.’ (Galatians 3:28 NCV) Just think, when the saints of the ages gather round God’s throne to praise Him they will not only be from different continents and cultures, but different eras – the early church age and the space age. What a concert! But you won’t enjoy it if you’re so narrow that you only know one song, because they may not be singing that particular number over there. Some of God’s choicest characters were culturally diverse, like Moses, an Israelite raised in an Egyptian household to prepare him for his destiny. Or Peter, who was prejudiced enough to think that God only blessed Jews until God set him straight saying, ‘If I say someone’s acceptable, don’t you say they’re not.’ (Acts 10:15 paraphrased) Evidently Peter got the message, for he wrote later, ‘Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth…love one another deeply…’ (1 Peter 1:22 NIV) So, learn to be tactful.
SoulFood: Acts 22-23, Mark 5:11-20, Ps 144:9-15, Pr 11:12-13
The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright 2012
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