Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone. (1 Cor. 9:19)
Expanded Passage: 1 Corinthians 9:19
Do you ever get invited to a friend’s house and really not want to go? Maybe you are tired from a long day and have another long day tomorrow, and you just don’t feel like you can expend the emotional energy—but you go anyway because you know your friend needs you. Or maybe you volunteer to help a group of people, and the commitment is starting to feel less like a joy and more like a burden—but you keep going. In instances like these, you are putting the needs of others above your own.
Paul, who was imitating Christ in this way, placed the needs of everyone in his orbit above his own. He truly believed that every person either needed the gospel or, if they already had it, needed to be encouraged to have their faith grow deeper. It was all that mattered to him. In a letter to the Philippians, Paul wrote that “to live is Christ and to die is gain” (Phil. 1:21). What do you need to do so that you can imitate Paul in this way? What would it look like for you to live every day for Christ? What areas of your life need to be reprioritized? What attitudes need to be changed? What new relationships need to be developed?
Use your freedom to free others.
Aaron Wilkinson is the vice president of operations and enrollment at Wesley Seminary, a member of College Wesleyan Church (IN), and an employee resilience researcher.
© 2023 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.