Let's Look For Common Ground

Roman emperors are not generally remembered for their wisdom, but there are a few exceptions. One such exception was Marcus Aurelius, a great thinker and emperor of Rome, who ruled from AD 161 to 180. Gifted with a brilliant mind, he was indeed one of the great intellectual rulers of Western civilization.

Although he never became a convert to Christianity, he displayed remarkable insight. His wisdom reflects the law of God written in the heart of someone who did not have God's Word (Romans 2:14-15). For example he taught:

  • The happiness of your life depends on the quality of your thoughts.
  • You have power over your mind  not outside events.
  • Your life is what your thoughts make it.

These words sound very similar to Proverbs 23:7, “As he [a person] thinks in his heart, so is he.” We can learn helpful principles from non-Christians and use their beliefs as common ground for sharing the gospel. When Paul stood on Mars Hill addressing some of the leading intellectuals of his day, he did not belittle their beliefs but established common ground with them and then taught them the gospel (Acts 17:22-34).

Let's look for common ground with our neighbors (1 Corinthians 9:21-22), so that we may persuade them to obey the gospel of Christ (Acts 10:19-48; cf. 2 Corinthians 5:11; Romans 6:17).

Mike Riley, Gospel Snippets

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