I have [in short] become all things to all men, that I might by all means (at all costs and in any and every way) save some [by winning them to faith in Jesus Christ].
—1 Corinthians 9:22
Some people are quiet, shy, and more laid-back simply because of their personalities. I am a talker and my husband is not, and there is nothing wrong with either of us. But when anything becomes excessive to the point that it is hindering our freedom or hurting other people, we cannot say, “That’s just the way I am.” Dave needs to talk to me more than he might prefer to at times because that’s what I need, and love requires that we make sacrifices for the sake of other people. There are also times when I would like to rattle on and on in conversation, but I notice that Dave isn’t really enjoying it so I decide to be quiet or I go find someone else to talk to.
We must work with God to find the balance between being who we are and not excusing unloving behavior by saying, “That is just the way I am.” God is in the business of changing us into His image, and that means He helps us control our weaknesses and He uses our strengths.
Dave and I have very different personalities, and yet we get along fabulously. It was not always that way, but we’ve learned to be what the other needs and yet not go so far that we lose our own freedom. I try to meet Dave’s needs and he does the same thing for me. Dave likes to do things that I don’t enjoy, but I still encourage him to do them so he can feel fulfilled, and he treats me the same way. When a friend or spouse needs you to adapt in some area to make the relationship better, it is foolish and selfish to say, “Sorry, that is just the way I am.” We may be more comfortable and find it easier to do what we feel like doing, but we can make adjustments and still not lose our individuality.
We can make ourselves very miserable and have stress-filled lives by never being willing to change or adapt. We are all different, but we can get along peacefully if we are willing.
Trust in Him: Ask God to help you be sensitive to the needs of those around you and give you the grace to adapt in whatever way you need to in order to walk in love with them. Trust God to help you be all things to all people.