On the top shelves of my office there are a number of hats. They represent different things to me from over the years. There is the one that I wore when I preached about building up the body of Christ. The one that I wear for special occasions that became my “special events hat” when I was doing campus ministry. Some of the hats remind me of a a family trip, the first trip after a new daughter and son in law were added. There is a spiritual hat given by a close friend or the hat I was given when a group of us went out to help at Timothy Hill Boys’ Ranch in New York. And of course the fedora that was my grandfather’s. Hats that remind me of different things or times that I wore them.
What isn’t on the shelf are the multiple hats I wear that you also wear. It may be the “parent hat” that you have to put on at times. The “friend hat”, that allows you to be there when a friend is in need. Then there is the “provider hat”, providing for the family, maybe physically, maybe emotionally. Probably one of the most fun hats is the “grandparent hat”, the one that comes with all the fun and love but fewer responsibilities. These aren’t physical hats that we put on, but more roles that we take on.
The hat we wear, the role we take on is usually because of a need that has come up and we need to step up. And though he doesn’t mention any hats in the passage, that is the idea that Paul puts forth in 1Corinthians 9:19-23
Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.
Paul put on different hats in different situations in order to please his Heavenly Father. He put on different hats in different situations because he knew he had been forgiven. He put on different hats in different situations because he knew others needed him.
As you put on the “mom hat” this week, or the “friend hat”, or maybe you’re lucky enough to put on the “grandparent hat”, think about the hat you need to put on because of what has been done for you - wear this hat for the person who needs to clearly see our Father’s love or just because you want to show your Heavenly Father how much you love Him.
Fortunate to be wearing my “grandparent hat” this weekend,