1 Corinthians 9:19-23 (English Standard Version)
19For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them. 20 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 not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law. 21To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. 23I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings.
Some might read this passage and say, see Paul was being a hypocrite, and he was pretending to be different things so that he could persuade others to believe. But if you read this passage carefully nowhere does it say that Paul was pretending. It says he became. There is a vast difference between being (becoming) and pretending.
Pretending is all about seeking to persuade others by acting out what you think they need to see, so that you might win them over. This is indeed hypocrisy.
Being or becoming is something that is very real, the only way to do this is by actually entering into another’s life, by becoming or being one of them; no pretense is involved, just genuine concern for the other.
I believe that when Paul says “I have become all things to all people”, that a lot of people automatically think pretense, which means hypocrisy.
Are you “being” what others need you to “be”, so that by some means you might save them?
Or are you just “being” a hypocrite.
The grand illusion goes on…