Even though I am free of the demands and expectations of everyone, I have voluntarily become a servant to any and all in order to reach a wide range of people: religious, nonreligious, meticulous moralists, loose-living immoralists, the defeated, the demoralized—whoever. 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. -1 Corinthians 9:19-22
If you want to make a difference, you have to meet the person where they are. You can’t get people to see things from your perspective if you’re absolutely incapable of seeing things from theirs. Sin grabs a person by the throat. They can’t move. If you can get in their position and speak to what they can see, touch and feel, you stand a better chance of helping them than if you refuse to get your hands dirty.
A leader can stand on an elevated surface giving ‘sound’ advice and getting frustrated when the people he’s trying to help don’t use it. From a distance, you can’t feel, smell or touch the things around them and you don’t understand why their challenges are such a big deal.
If sin is an airplane and there’s a person stuck in it, you can’t sit in your office somewhere and demand that they jump. You have no idea what this feels like to them. The roar of the engine, the feel of the flimsy parachute, the sight of clouds and no land in sight. It’s no wonder they feel like it would be safer to ride this out and get off when it lands. They need you to see things from their perspective, not because they want you to think they’re okay, but because they need someone to show them how to jump.
Drop the superstitious religion and sin phobia that you carry around. We’re supposed to go through life, not avoid it. That’s the only way we’ll be of use to anyone else. If you want to be useful in perpetuating terrified Christianity, then keep everything you do within that strange little bubble. We’re supposed to be sheep among wolves, not sheep among sheep. (Mat10:16)
Enter the lives and the culture. Feel the mentality and the need. Wear yourself out pushing against their obstacles and let the culture from home add something to the mix. Show them how to love, how to work together and how to bring life out of each other. Be a human in a trailer park of robots.