3 Reasons You Need A Friend Like Paul
Posted: Tuesday, September 15
Verse of the day:
But when Peter came to Antioch, I had to oppose him to his face, for what he did was very wrong. (Galatians 2:11)
Paul stands up in a public place and accuses Peter of hypocrisy. It’s not the best day for their friendship, but then again, maybe it is. Here’s my best guess: three reasons we all need a friend like Paul.
1.) Godly friends know our history.
Paul isn’t accusing a stranger; he’s accusing a close friend. In our distant relationships, we can often mislead people with the one perspective they see at work, at church, or in public. Close friends know the whole story. They can’t be fooled. Paul spent time with Peter in the homes of Gentile and Jewish believers. Paul uncovered Peter’s hypocrisy only because he knew him well.
2.) Godly friends don’t spectate our destruction.
The consequences of sin hold a blast radius in our lives. Sin damages us, and it damages the people around us. A casual friend backs away from the carnage. A casual friend says, “Not my problem. If they want my advice, they can ask.” Paul knew that Peter’s hypocrisy was causing confusion among believers. Paul knew that Barnabas was turning away because of Peter’s actions. Paul doesn’t step back; he steps up.
3.) Godly friends prioritize holiness over happiness.
Let’s indulge a weak-minded alternative to Paul’s actions. (best read with the accent of a 14-year-old Valley girl) “Pete and I are besties. #BFF I always respect his space. #NotMyBiz Besides, what if he totally got mad and stopped talking to me? #UNFRIEND That would be the worst.” Godly friends don’t allow the temporary to eclipse the eternal. Paul saw Peter on a destructive path and ran to the rescue.
We can have dozens of friends without knowing anyone like Paul. Avoidance seems to be today’s prescribed remedy to conflict, but God describes a better way. Whether it’s your turn to act like Paul or respond like Peter, God has a holy plan for the friendships in your life.