Living paradoxically

I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some. (1 Cor. 9:22)


IN 1520 MARTIN LUTHER, the great Reformer, wrote a treatise called "The Freedom of the Christian." He began it with this paradox: A Christian is a perfectly free lord of all, subject to none. A Christian is a perfectly dutiful servant of all, subject to all.

I heard a story about a recovering alcoholic, Charlie, who had been led to Christ years ago. Charlie was so burdened for lost souls that each day after work, he would stop at the local bar, drink coffee, and share his story of transformation with those who would listen. One day a despondent atheist named Gib struck up a conversation with Charlie. Charlie advised Gib to go and listen to a theologian speaking in their community. While there Gib heard the gospel for the first time. He was so convicted that he vomited all night long. The next day he dropped to his knees and gave his life to Christ.

Gib, who later became a pastor, found out that Charlie and others whom Charlie had led to Christ had spent all night praying for him. The sad part of this great story is that none of the local churches welcomed Charlie into their congregation because of his daily visits to the bar. Even though he never even drank alcohol, they didn't like his method of being all things to all people.

Figure out new, creative ways to walk in freedom.

Susan Browning Schulz is a Bible teacher, wife, and mom of three grown children. She lives and plays on the Etowah River in Georgia and loves leading her small group.