Galatians 2:11-12: But when Cephas (Peter) came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. For prior to the coming of certain men from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he began to withdraw and hold himself aloof, fearing the party of the circumcision.
Many of us do this all the time. We can be having a good time, sharing food and fellowship with a believer of a different political party or race - until one of our own shows up and sees us. We may feign a sudden need to go the restroom or refill our glass or plate - anything to get away from the company of the one or ones we had been previously enjoying. Why? Because we are ashamed to be seen by our own with him, her or "them." Paul, when he saw Peter doing the same, confronted Peter to his face about it. Peter had been eating with and enjoying the company of some gentiles until other Jews came on the scene and saw him. Peter did an immediate about-face. Though Peter was a well-recognized leader and Paul not so much in the eyes of many, Paul seeing this nonetheless had the courage to call out the wrong in the great leader, to his face. Why? Hypocrisy. It was BECAUSE Peter was a great leader that Paul felt the need to publicly confront and rebuff him. Otherwise, Peter would have damaged the witness and work of the church; even worse, turned the very people away who needed to see the love of Christ and authentic Christianity. As leaders, it's not what we claim that makes us authentic, it's what we do with who and what we claim we are. The world today and those within our spheres of influence are desperate for authenticity - authentic leaders who don't bend with every puff of wind. Those who stand for something. Leaders who say what they mean and live out who they claim to be. The level of our influence for God, community and country will be in direct proportion to our level of authenticity.
Prayer: Father, simply help me to be real today and have the courage with grace to confront other brothers and sisters who aren't. For the sake of your name and for the sake of those whom you have called me to lead. In the name of Jesus. Amen.
Published on Wednesday, April 5, 2017 @ 1:41 PM CDT