Monday, July 5, 2010

Behind the Back or To the Face? - Galatians 2:11

"But when Peter came to Antioch,
I opposed him to his face,
because he stood condemned."
(Galatians 2:11)

In the last post we looked at Peter's blunder, today I want to look quickly at Paul's response.

Peter has fallen into some foolishness. Paul has seen it. What will he do about it?

Well, one thing he WON'T do about it is talk about Peter behind his back! We don't see Paul sneaking around to all of the Gentiles saying, "Hey, did you see what Peter did? Did you see how he was all buddy buddy with you guys up until the Jewish Christians popped up on the scene? What's up with him? Can you even believe that he would act that way?"

Nope. Paul is not going to talk about Peter. He is going to talk to Peter. Please, please take note of that fact.

The text says that Paul "opposed him to his face."

Friends if one of your fellow followers of Christ falters don't talk to everyone else - talk to him! Be reminded again of Galatians 6:1:

"Brethren, even if a man is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another's burdens, and thus fulfill the law of Christ."

Similarly, we see Jesus encouraging the same thing in Matthew 18 - encouraging us to go to the man not to the masses! Our Lord tells us:

"And if your brother sins, go and reprove him in private;
if he listens to you, you have won your brother."

That is always step one in reproof - take it to the person not to the people. Sure, Matthew 18 goes on to give further steps which we are to follow if he does not listen - but step one must be done as step one if your brother will be won!

So, the question for the day is this: Am I loving folks face to face or am I tale-bearing and talking behind their back?

Lord, grant us all the humble boldness to love one another as Paul loved Peter.

In His glorious grace,

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