Relatable. All things to all people. Wild and free. Soft and sweet. Wrestling tigers and swimming with swans. Running with leopards and flying with doves. You need every single aspect of your personality to reach a world far from Christ.
In 1 Corinthians 9, Paul details his own experience of serving a diverse group of people and how he becomes relatable to all people.
“Although I am free from everyone’s expectations, I have made myself a servant to all of them to win more people. To the Jews I became like a Jew in order to win Jews. To those under the Law I became like a man under the Law, in order to win those under the Law (although I myself am not under the Law). To those who do not have the Law, I became like a man who does not have the Law in order to win those who do not have the Law. However, I am not free from God’s Law, but I’m subject to the Messiah’s law.” 1 Corinthians 9:20-21
You don’t need to change who you are to be relatable. You simply use every aspect of your already-engraiend identity. Paul was a Jew and he was also a Christian. He knew what it was like to follow the Law and what it was like to abandon the Law to follow Jesus. The culmination of all his experiences make him relatable to everyone.
Being subject to the Messiah means you walk in freedom of the Holy Spirit, saved by grace through faith.
“To the weak I became weak in order to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some of them.” 1 Corinthians 9:22
All things to all people. The apostle Paul, an influential pioneer of the Christian church, said he had become all things to all people to save them. To reach them. To rescue them. To speak to them specifically. Individually. Literally. Practically. He wanted to understand each person and speak God’s heart into their literal world. When you preach the gospel of Jesus who brings healing to every people group of the world, you must know how to speak to a wide range of different kinds of people.
Paul became “all things to all people.”
He was relatable.
People need you to be relatable when you talk to them about their lives, struggles and hope for a Savior to love them.
Relatable. Approachable. Empathetic. Understanding. Accessible. Responsive. You must learn from Jesus for how to carry these traits because you will need them in ministry. How do you learn to be relatable? You express your own personality, which is multifaceted. You learn from God who is also multifaceted in His trinitarian identity. You let godly leaders train you. You learn from them. You observe them. You work with them. You see how they interact with the people they love and serve.
The relatability factor means that you draw on every experience to relate to someone else. You may not have wrestled with the same exact struggle or addiction, but you did wrestle with the same root of the problem. All addictions stems from lack of wholeness, or lack of pleasure, or lack of purpose, or lack of something needed for their purpsoe. All relationship battles deal with people and we all share in that smae experience. All people are born into a family so we all share in that same experience, even in our differences. We all experience difficulties at school, at the workplace, in society, and we share in similar dilemmas that give us shared empathy.
The everyman factor means you use every experience to relate to every person.
Every person carries sin and has fell short of God’s standard. Everyone shares this commonality. This is an everyman factor.
“For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.” Romans 3:23
Your everyman factor of sin transforms into the transformed everyman factor, or transformed everywoman factor, of eternal life through Jesus.
“‘And it shall be that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’” Acts 2:21
Be the everyman and be willing to say, yes I have sinned and I need Jesus. Be the everywoman and say I need Jesus. You reduce your everyman factor when you assess you do not need a Savior and that you have no sin. You eliminate your relatability factor when you say you don’t understand someone else’s struggle even though you do. Be honest with yourself so that you can know what you have faced and overcame, and can speak from that place of victory to set others free!
We become everything God intended us to become through Jesus’ love saturating our souls with newness! This redemption continues until Jesus returns as we grow in the Lord and He grows others through us.
“I am sure that God who began the good work in you will keep on working in you until the day Jesus Christ comes again.” Philippians 1:6
Paul loved His people and trained everyone around Him to be better. He wrote letter after letter about correct theology of Jesus. He taught. He served. He addressed difficult topics. He spoke about uncomfortable topics that no one else was addressing.
“It is He whom we proclaim as we admonish and wisely teach everyone, so that we may present everyone mature in the Messiah.” Colossians 1:28
Paul aims to foster spiritual growth and maturity in every believer. So He speaks up.
You must speak up when you are a Christian leader. Correct what you see is wrong. Address what needs to be changed.
When you do address things that need to be changed, some will come against you because of their own unwillingness to change. Paul trailblazed right through that with brazen bravery.
“From now on let no one cause me trouble, for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers. Amen.” Galatians 6:17-18
Paul keeps going because Jesus anointed Him to share the good news of His salvation.
“From now on let no one cause me trouble,” he says.
Paul lets nobody cause him trouble. His faith in Jesus is greater than that. He withstands every obstacle wilingly because He has been comissioned by Jesus to share the gospel. He knows full well the attacks that will come his way and the attacks that already have. He is used to it by now. Nothing shakes him. Nothing breaks him. Nothing stops him. Nothing moves his heart away from Jesus. Everywhere he goes, he speaks the gospel of Jesus’ salvation.
Paul does everything for the gospel of Jesus to spread everywhere.
“I do all this for the sake of the gospel in order to have a share in its blessings.” 1 Corinthians 9:23
His motivation is the gospel. Jesus’ death and resurrection which gives eternal life to all people who confess their sins and exalt Him as Lord. This is the gospel. Paul lives for this mission. He exists for this one purpose. And he finds this amazing energy of joy in his life all the time because of it.
We need the joy of Jesus’ salvation to live cheerfully.
“So the ransomed of the Lord will return
and come with joyful shouting to Zion,
and everlasting joy will be on their heads.
They will obtain gladness and joy,
and sorrow and sighing will flee away.” Isaiah 51:11
Sorrow flees when you sing for joy in the Lord. Sing for you. Sing for Jesus. Sing for your own joy to rekindle inside. Our hope in Jesus is worth celebrating with every part of our expressions.
Express your self in the Lord.
Express all the facets of your personality with others. They will see Jesus can reach them too, when you share who you really are with people.
This is the everyman factor. The everywoman factor. When you become all things to all people in order to save some, because God has taught you every aspect about yourself so that you can relate to others. Use your experiences to minister to others.