22 To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.
To the Jews I became as a Jew, so that I might win Jews; to those who are under the Law, as under the Law though not being myself under the Law, so that I might win those who are under the Law; I Cor.9:20
It's easy to act and to talk like a Christian when we're around others who are like-minded. But are we true to our actions and demeanor when we are around others? Are we consistent in the image that we portray?
The apostle Paul wrote the words above to be in a position to "win" over those who were different than he was. And yet he didn't change his beliefs to suit those that he talked with, even though they had different opinions and thoughts.
He became like all men and women to understand where they came from, and yet he held onto his belief in the one that had turned his life around. At one time he had great fervor and zeal in his dealings with this new group of followers of Jesus. At one time he did his best to rid the country of them. He was trained in the law and could dispute with the best of them, and yet the time came when he considered it all loss for the sake of knowing Him who had captured his attention on the road to Damascus.
Many of us have had our own road to Damascus experiences. Some of us have had lives in the past where we partied with the best of them. And now we have a new life in Christ where perhaps we still meet others that knew us before. Perhaps we have friends and people that we associate with that don't hold onto the same beliefs as us. Will we try to fit in with them so that we might be accepted, or will we hold on to what we have found?
It's one thing to listen and to understand another person's belief and way of life, and yet it is entirely different to become like them to understand them. We are called to be salt in this world, and if that salt has lost its savor, then it is no longer good or useful.
13 “You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trodden under foot by men. Matt. 5:13-16