You might think in light of some of the verse in the Bible that God expects us to be more closed than open, for example:
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Romans 12:2This seems to say not to be open to the world and the issues it causes. We would be right in believing that God wants His followers to keep the world outside and to transform from the inside through His Spirit. We don't have to do as the world to win the world. We need to be set apart, and different. So when should we be open?
I think that God wants us to be open to people. To become what we need to be to be a witness. In this case I also believe that a witness is a servant, not as in someone who waits on someone but a person who honors and respects all people with compassion. Even the "hard" to love. We have to become a person that others can respond to. If I put up a barrier to someone because of the way they are dressed, the way they smell, the tattoos they have, or their religious, political, or moral stances, then I am not being open to them. I can not be a witness to them. Also, being open doesn't mean you agree with them, just that you can accept them and love them.
Paul never said he agreed with the way the people lived, he just became "like" them. As a witness you don't go into a bar and start preaching, telling people how wrong they are for drinking and wasting their time and money. You will win no one, in fact you would probably be kicked out. If on the other hand, if you went in the bar sat and talked to people while not drinking (or having a drink since it is over indulgence that is the problem), building a relationship with a person or two, then you are opening yourself to the possibilities of being a witness to them. You might be able to take that relationship outside the doors of the bar to a coffee shop or a restaurant and lead that person to Christ.
All Christians are called to be missionaries or evangelist. I know in the minds of many a missionary is someone who goes to a far off place to live and spread the gospel, that is not always the case. And an evangelist is someone like Billy Graham, who preached to 1000s of people at a time and 100s came to know the Lord each time he spoke. That isn't the case either.
These verses spell out the mission work God wants His disciples to do. It starts at home, in your Jerusalem, and spreads from there. There are two definitions for evangelism, the first having to do with being a witness for Christ, the other is "militant or crusading zeal" . I don't know about you but I want to on fire for Christ in a way that draws others to Him. What other reason is there for me to be here on the earth? So, in order to follow what God wants me to do, be a witness for Him, I have to be open to all kinds of people. I have to be willing to build relationships with people no matter what they look like, smell like, or what religious, political, or moral views they may have. I need to be able to...
I need to be open to the possibilities that God sends my way every day, open to the people around me for opportunities to build relationships and share who Christ is to us. Open to other Christians who may need guidance or help through some rough spots. I need to open my mind and heart to the love of Christ and let it show through my life openly.
Thanks for reading! God Bless You All!