Daily Archives: September 3rd, 2012

Turning Back

Most people name Paul and Peter and two of the most influential people of the early church. If you read too fast, you might miss a time when Paul actually opposed Peter. In Galatians 2, Paul wrote about the situation. This opposition was because Peter changed, he was turning back.

Peter was accepting the Gentiles. He was spending time with them, eating with them. Then there came “the party of the circumcision,” those who would not be too keen on the fact that Peter was hanging out and accepting the Gentiles. When they came on the scene, Peter started to back away from the Gentiles. Paul saw this change in behaviour and he basically held Peter accountable.

We cannot love one group, and then decide that we will not show love and grace with another group. We cannot be kind to some people, but chose to not be kind to the rest. Jesus didn’t say we could pick and choose who we would treat decent, nor who we would allow to hear the gospel.

God does not show partiality. God loves all people. If we are aiming to love people like Christ loves people, we will not be selective. Truthfully I know that we typically have some built in reservations. We are taught to avoid certain types of people, to not associate with some groups. We are raised to leave people out. Yet God tells us to let everyone in. He forgives all. He loves all. We need to embrace people as He embraces. There is no turning back.

“Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” -1 Corinthians 13:4-7 [NASB]