“Why is it I always get my best ideas while shaving?” ~ Albert Einstein
Within my life, I have taken on many different images. In high school, I grew out my hair (oh, the awkward stages). In my college running career, I grew out a beard to assimilate to the sophistication of the collegiate crowd. I graduated, got a job in the local school system, I shaved my beard, got a slick haircut, and now I live unto the professional life. And as I write this, I need to shave once again to be who I need to be to my students.
We are ordained to bring the Gospel to a lost and dying world. A lost and dying world is full of people in different places at different times with varying needs. But one need remains the same.
The need for the salvation provided by the finished work of Jesus Christ. But the question is, how do you reach people for this uniform purpose with their many different needs.
You become many things to many people.
Saying this, let me clarify. This does not mean fake it till you make it. It means to meet people where they are at. Be graceful and understanding of your differences, but faithful to the convictions of Scripture. Not becoming a different person, but allow yourself to be trusted in their circles so that Christ be glorified.
The Apostle Paul had numerous citizenships, ministered to numerous ethnicities, and proclaims,
“For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more… I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. And this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you” (1 Corinthians 9:19; 22-23).
This passage stresses the priority of Scripture and Paul gives a model of what means to take the Gospel to the world. It does not mean change identity, but it may just mean, to shave a little. I need to learn this lesson myself sometimes.