Building a Doll House: Be Flexible – Chapter 10

NOTE: If you missed Chapters 1-9 of Building a Doll House, you can find it in the column under “blog archive” to the right.


If there is one thing I’ve learned through my life, it is to be flexible. On a recent trip to SE Asia, that was the number one rule. Be flexible. With family get to get-togethers, a great rule to keep in mind is to be flexible.


The same was true with the doll house. We had to be flexible. There were times when we didn’t have the right tool to move ahead, so we had to wait on a section. Or on occasion, we were waiting for elements of the doll house to dry, so we had to be flexible at times.


And then there were the occasions when one of us didn’t want to work on the doll house which meant, the other had to wait. Be flexible. It was a great rule to keep in mind while working on the doll house.


But why is it so important to be flexible? I have come to believe that it’s to keep frustration at bay. So that we might be able to work on a project, with someone, or be with a group of people without losing our cool.


Be flexible!


Jesus’ disciples knew how to be flexible. They would travel from location to location. They listened to Jesus’ teaching and watched the crowd’s reaction to Jesus. They never knew what was going to happen next, but they knew it would be exciting!


Oh, on occasion they would get a little tense. Like when the young children were brought to Jesus for a blessing (Matthew 19:13-15). Or when the crowds were so great and there was no food (Matthew 14:13-21). Or even the time when Jesus went to the tomb of His dear friend Lazarus (John 11:1-16).


But the disciples remained flexible through it all.


Later we see the importance of flexibility in sharing the Gospel. Depending on the crowd, the way they presented the Gospel was different. The Apostle Paul was an excellent communicator and was able to discern this very thing.


We see how he began his messages with Old Testament history when he spoke to a mainly Jewish audience in Acts 13:16-22. He then brings Jesus into the story as the fulfillment of the promise given by God and continued his message of salvation (Acts 13:23-41).


We don’t know for sure what Paul said to the crippled man at Lystra (Acts 14:8-10), but they were intent. They were exactly what the man needed to hear at that moment and we see his faith and healing.


In Athens (Acts 17:16-34), Paul spoke before a group of philosophers. Again, his message began differently. He noticed one altar “To An Unknown God.” (Acts 17:23 – NIV) And then he began preaching God’s message. “Now what you worship as something unknown I am going to proclaim to you…”


Wow! What a message! Paul knew exactly how to present the Gospel to this group as well as others. What a lesson we can learn from Paul.


You see, I don’t speak to my 22-month-old grandson the way that I speak to my 30-year-old son. In the same way, I should be flexible in how I share the Gospel with others. I must learn to take note of my audience and then proceed as needed.


Now please hear me. I’m not saying that we change our message. In no way is that to happen. God has given us His message in Scripture and we must teach or preach it as is. But we must learn to share God’s message in a way that it will make a difference to the person hearing the message. They must understand how the Gospel will change their life.


The Apostle Paul shares another thought of flexibility in 1 Corinthians 9:19-23. His point becomes clear in verse 22. “I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some.” (1 Corinthians 9:22 – NIV)


That is flexibility!


I know that it’s easier to stick to one way of sharing the Gospel, with one message. We memorize it and can share it easily. But if the person you are speaking to isn’t getting the message, what good is it? We really do need to be aware of our audience and change our approach or methodology for effective discipleship.


Be flexible. These are two words that I’ve learned to embrace. I pray that you are able to embrace them as well.


Grace and peace be yours in abundance,



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