Tact is the knack of making a point without making an enemy. To win someone over, you must first do two things: (a) understand them; (b) become comfortable with diversity. Paul wrote, “So I can bring them to Christ…I try to find common ground with everyone” (vv. 21-22 NLT). Paul wouldn’t yield an inch when it came to the truth, but his strategy was always one of love. Whether he was speaking to Jews, Greeks, Romans or barbarians his message never varied. But his approach did. When people know you respect them you’re more effective at helping them to change. Speaking to those who were willing to alienate someone over a fine point of theology, Paul writes, “In Christ’s family…you are all equal…in a common relationship with Jesus” (Gal 3:28 TM). Just think, when the saints of the ages gather round God’s throne to praise Him they will not only be from different continents and cultures, but different eras—the early church age and the space age. What a concert! But you won’t enjoy it if you’re so narrow that you only know one song, because they may not be singing that particular number over there. Some of God’s choicest characters were culturally diverse, like Moses, an Israelite raised in an Egyptian household to prepare him for his destiny. Or Peter, who was prejudiced enough to think that God only blessed Jews until God straightened him out saying, “If I say someone’s acceptable, don’t you say they’re not” (See Ac 10:15 paraphrased). Evidently Peter got the message, for he wrote later, “Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth…love one another deeply” (1Pe 1:22 NKJV). So, learn to be tactful.
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