1 Corinthians 9:16-23
“I have become all things to all people” is not such a good thing to be unless it is “all for the sake of the Gospel” but even then it’s a dangerous thing to do. Of course proclaiming the Gospel is a noble and worthwhile endeavor, but I wonder how many professional proclaimers have sacrificed health and home by trying to be all things to all people while never being true to themselves. I’m not confessing. I’m just asking the question. But truth is according to all sorts of surveys we clergy are a pretty unhealthy lot and it’s not because the devil is out to get us, we can get there without any help, thank you very much. I think it has something to do with the misapplication of this text by a demanding profession with high expectations (mostly unspoken) and low reward (at least in the way the world measures it) and more recently, diminished respect so that the clerical collar is often an object of ridicule in the wider culture. But there is a greater truth and that is that the obligation to proclaim cannot be escaped and “woe to me if I do not proclaim” means the call is not an option. That being said we can be better on both sides of the pew of being true to ourselves while being all things to each other for the sake of Gospel.