Singleminded vs. Sugar-Coated
1 Corinthians 2:1-5 points to the Apostle Paul’s presentation of the Gospel to the Greeks of his day. He did not go with eloquent words, but he focused on Jesus Christ, the one way of salvation. King David, in Psalm 12, points out that “the faithful fail from among the children of men. They speak vanity every one with his neighbor: with flattering lips and with a double heart do they speak” (vs. 1b-2).
Now, all can agree that Paul’s methods changed based upon each group of individuals he addressed. He was, after all, “all things to all men” (1 Corinthians 9:19-23). He tailored what he said in an effort to be more palatable and understood by each target audience in his travels. In essence, he added the necessary herbs, spices, and sweetener. At the same time, though, he didn’t just provide a lollipop – a mouthful of sugar with no lasting substance. At the center of his message was always Jesus Christ. He had a single focus – presenting the Gospel. So, the methods changed, but not the message. Yet the methods never went to extremes where the methods overtook the message.
Here’s the challenge for today’s artists: Present the Gospel of Jesus Christ so that it is understood by the target audience, but don’t allow your method to outshine the goal. Remember, if you just provide entertainment, it’s just a lollipop, not a provision from the Master’s table.