Blessings of Manifold Grace: "Becoming All Things to All Men"1 Corinthians 9:22 "...I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some."
(Read 1 Cor. 9:19-23 for context)
Paul desired to reach all types of people for Christ. This desire put him a difficult and dangerous situations for the sake of the Gospel. He was criticized by some and rejected by others, even within the church. One key to Paul's success was his reliance on the "manifold grace of God." (1 Pet. 4:10). "Manifold" means "many-sided."
Extending beyond our "one-sided-ness" to reach others is not something we can do naturally. This is why we serve God and ask Him for "Grace to help in time of need" (Heb. 4:16) Through Him we gain enough compassion to understand others, and enough wisdom to adapt our approach, without compromising our faith.
Below is a quote from an unknown author describing the attributes of a pastor. These attributes also describe the person who desires to reach all types of people for Christ. In ourselves, we may only carry 1-2 attributes. Through manifold grace, we can become "all things to all men."
Through grace you can possess:
- The strength of an ox,
- The tenacity of a bulldog,
- The daring of a lion,
- The wisdom of an owl,
- The harmlessness of a dove
- The industry of a beaver,
- The gentleness of a sheep,
- The versatility of a chameleon.
- The vision of an eagle,
- The hide of a rhinoceros,
- The perspective of a giraffe,
- The endurance of a camel,
- The bounce of a kangaroo,
- The stomach of a horse,
- The disposition of an angel,
- The loyalty of an apostle,
- The faithfulness of a prophet,
- The tenderness of a shepherd,
- The fervency of an evangelist,
- The devotion of a mother