Remember what you used to be like? (1)
“Look…to the hole of the pit from which you were dug.” Isa 51:1 NKJV
If you want to win people to Christ, you won’t do it with a holier-than-thou attitude. Sadly, this is how society sees many Christians; their hearts are in the right place, but their ability to relate with compassion to those outside their immediate circle does God no favors. If you want people to respond to the gospel, take a leaf from Paul’s book. He “voluntarily [became] a servant to…all in order to reach a wide range of people: religious, nonreligious…moralists…immoralists, the defeated, the demoralized—whoever” (1Co 9:19-21 MSG). Now before you get bent out of shape about Paul being soft on sin, he adds: “I didn’t take on their way of life. I kept my bearings in Christ—but I entered their world and tried to experience things from their point of view. I’ve become…every sort of servant…in my attempts to lead those I meet into a…saved life…I didn’t just want to talk about it; I wanted to be in on it!” (vv. 22-23 MSG). Paul could relate to unbelievers without endorsing their lifestyle because he remembered what he himself was like before God transformed him on the Damascus road. It’s the kind of humility that only comes from looking back and remembering “the pit from which you were dug” (Isa 51:1 NKJV). Being the recipient of God’s grace enabled Paul to write: “Here’s a word you can take to heart…Jesus…came into the world to save sinners. I’m proof—Public Sinner Number One—of someone who could never have made it apart from sheer mercy” (1Ti 1:15-18 MSG). Today, remember what you used to be like.