“For though I am free with respect to all, I have made myself a slave to all, so that I might win more of them. To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though I myself am not under the law) so that I might win those under the law. To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law) so that I might win those outside the law. To the weak I became weak, so that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, so that I might by any means save some. I do it all for the sake of the gospel, so that I may share in its blessings.” (I Corinthians 9:19-23) Paul makes an interesting move in this week’s passage. Earlier (vv 1-18) he has made the case that he has a right to payment for his ministry, but he has not accepted any compensation. He has not needed it since he was a tentmaker. (By the way, does it change our thinking about Paul if the reality was that he was a successful tradesman who moonlighted as an Apostle?!) This freedom has allowed him the ability to give his life away. Did you catch that? Paul’s freedom in the Gospel gave him the power to submit himself to all. I don’t know about you, but my temptation is that with freedom (be it financial or otherwise) I tend to be more independent and less inclined to give myself away. But not the Apostle. How so? Well, I think the answer is found in another of his letters. “and it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20) To accept the identity of Jesus Christ, is to become available to all persons, even as our Lord was available to all. To give our lives to Jesus is to give our lives to all for whom he gave his life. Are there folks that you shy away from? Are there groups of folks that you want to avoid? That is my temptation. But I also know this: the Lord is with me and with you, and calls us to all and empowers us to love all.