“I have become all things to all people” – this phrase speaks of election campaigns! Suddenly politicians, normally hiding from public view, enter the catwalk, glad-handing everywhere. Previous “no-go” districts in their electorates become the target of media focused sortees, where solutions are offered to longstanding unsolvable problems. In order to win the maximum number of votes, it is important to, as far as politically possible, “be all to all.”
The phrase is borrowed from St Paul who is before the Corinthian church leaders defending his stance and vigour in spreading the Christian message.
Click on 1 Corinthians 9:16-23.
Paul has already set aside his right to compensation as he works amongst them. So passionate and urgent is he about spreading the message as far as possible that he will break stringent social class boundaries, becoming a slave to the slave, a Jew to the Jew, a Gentile to the Gentile, in order to succeed.
“How does this make Paul different to a campaigning electoral candidate?” one might ask. Look for the motive. Control and love are strong and powerful motivators. But they are mutually exclusive. One manipulates; the other serves.
(Disclaimer: this, of course, is not a slur on those excellent politicians who enter public life in order to serve)
3 thoughts on “All things to all people – look for the motive!”
Motive, the most hidden of all our traits, exposed in action, control and love as you say.
I think another way to consider this is the idea of ‘starting where people are at’. This means endeavouring to enter and understand their frame of reference and value them as unique human beings. However, I believe it also means I remain who I am. How does this sound?
I like it. It sounds very much like the practical outworking of the love motive!