“I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.” (ICorinthians 9:22)
The greatest missionary, teacher, pastor and author in the history of the church of Jesus Christ has given us his philosophy of service. If you look up the verses that precede and follow the one I have quoted, you will understand the verse above more completely. Paul writes that even though he was born free – when large percentages of populations in cities like Corinth and Rome were born slaves – he has deliberately chosen to make himself the slave of every person he meets.
To the Jew he will become as a Jew to reach a Jew. To people who were legalistic he will become as a legalist to reach such a person. To those who were secular and completely without moral standards he would become as one of them (within certain limits), to win immoral people. To those who were weak (and I think he pointed to his temple when he used that word), he would become as weak that he might gain the person who was weak.
Paul was severely persecuted by the Jews. He positively hated legalism. Before and after his conversion he lived an extraordinarily holy life. He was one of the greatest minds of his day. But he adjusted himself to what others were that he might win them for Christ.
Have you ever opened a conversation with the question, “How may I serve you?” As you relate to people have you allowed the thought to cross your mind “How far am I willing to go to serve this person?” What is your philosophy of service? What do you think it ought to be?