“Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings” (I Corinthians 9:19-23, NIV).
I am free because of what Jesus has done for me, and I choose to make myself a slave for the sake of others. What does that mean? I become as others so that I might understand their plight, and offer them the hope that I have received. Paul said that he had become all things to all people so that some might find Christ. That is my call, too, and it is yours. Not to force any superiority or knowledge or faith on anyone else, but to live my faith and offer it–to become as someone else in order that I might understand how to share it.
What a powerful thought! If I become as Christ, and make myself a slave to others, then in offering my life for the sake of someone else, the gospel lives in me. His message of sacrificial love is offered. Jesus, who was sinless, became sin, and took it to the cross. There He sacrificed His life so I might be free from sin's control. I am free because of His love. But I choose to be His because of that love which gave all for me. If I can identify with someone in need of His love, and give all my heart’s attention to them, the Holy Spirit can reveal the deepest need that only He knows. He can guide me in what I say and do. When I become less for the sake of someone else, then Christ can be much more in me. He can then use me to help someone see the freedom and potential He has for their life.
I have a story to tell and to share. It is a story of Christ laying down His life for my sake. It is a story of redeeming love, and freedom from all I have been. I am a free, and only a slave by choice. He is the best choice I could ever make, and His life is the greatest I could ever offer. John said it best. “In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:4, NIV). He is the life that is offered to all mankind, and the only light which reveals the depths of the human heart. I will allow His light to shine in me, and the darkness will not overcome it. I will make myself a slave for the sake of others. In my freedom, I choose Him.