1 Cor. 9:22-23
22. When I am with those whose consciences bother them easily, I don't act as though I know it all and don't say they are foolish; the result is that they are willing to let me help them. Yes, whatever a person is like, I try to find common ground with him so that he will let me tell him about Christ and let Christ save him.
23. I do this to get the Gospel to them and also for the blessing I myself receive when I see them come to Christ. Living Bible
When I went to the football game Friday in Weathersfield I could not believe the civility and the good nature of all the people there. The score was quite close for most of the game. And everyone seemed to be quite excited and there were rumblings of dissatisfaction with the defense at times.
But what I noticed was that there were a number of injuries on the field. They actually stopped the game several times when a player was down on the ground and hurt. I guess I thought that since Stark County was such a tough team that they might jear or make fun of anyone who was so weak as to get themselves hurt. I thought that there might be calls from the crowd like get up you pansy. Or quit faking it you cream puff. But they didn't. They actually stopped the game. Everyone stopped and some very caring type people were called onto the field and they went over to the person and worked with them. And they continued to work with them until they were able to get up and walk off the field. And then to my amazement, regardless of what team had suffered the injury everyone cheered and applauded as he walked from the field. I left the game quite amazed for I just didn't know that the people around here were so caring and kind.
Now I know that you think I have gone off the deep end, but just wait for the application.
You see I see people every day who are hurt and injured in the game of life. They have stumbled and fallen. Sometimes it is because of the opposing team and they are quite injured. Sometimes it is just because they were not watching or they did some stupid thing. And what I see is the people, most people, are not running to help them up. No instead they congregate around them and talk about how bad they are at this game of life. No one stops the game until they are on their feet again, and most of the time they are just run over by the other players on the field who are mostly disgusted at their fall. So you can see why I was so amazed at the football game when everyone took care to return the hurt player to the game.
The apostle Paul knew all about this. He knew that in life people become injured either in mind or spirit. Ne knew that many people have great spiritual handicaps. But Paul had developed a method of dealing with them. And it seems that he is trying to pass it on to us who today have read this passage.
In the Handbook of Bible Application they give us the following outline. "Paul gives several important principles for ministry: (1) find common ground with those you contact; (2) avoid a know-it-all attitude; (3) make others feel accepted; (4) be sensitive to their needs and concerns; and (5) look for opportunities to tell them about Christ. These principles are just as valid for us as they were for Paul."
What is it you want out of life today?
This message was preached at FBC Toulon,
by Albert Harmon. See it at http://toulonbaptist.com