Right in the middle of this letter of confrontation, Paul describes how he confronted Peter.
Have you ever been tempted to not live up to your ideals? Have you ever been disappointed by a leader who didn’t live out what they preached?
This passage is terrific for two reasons. First, we will see the temptations of a leader, and second, we will see the incredibly gracious way that Paul confronts Peter.
Temptation of a Leader
- “before certain men came from James” – Sometimes get our brain on backwards and begin to perform for all of the voices in our lives instead of the ‘audience of One’ (God). We view ourselves in light of how others ‘might’ see us. We place others’ opinions in place of God so that we no longer see ourselves the way He sees us.
- “he was afraid” – we act on others opinions instead of discerning the Word.
- When you are in a position of leadership, people will follow you – no matter where you lead. Make sure you are going where God wants people to go.
How Paul Confronted Peter
- He reminded Peter of his allegiance to the gospel
- He led with a question, comparing Peter’s actions to the gospel
It looks something like: “You don’t eat wheat. Why are you eating a scone?” (yes, that was me on Tuesday.) Direct, but not “you are such a hypocrite! I can’t believe you could do this to me!… ”
There is definitely a difference in these two approaches. Leaders are people and many times they disappoint us. God give us the grace to hold them with the respect and honor we would want ourselves and confront them in a way that brings correction instead of destruction.