READ : Galatians 2:11-21
When Peter came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he was clearly in the wrong. (v. 11 NIV)
A father was complaining about the amount of time his family spent in front of the television. His children watched cartoons and neglected their homework. His wife preferred soap operas to housework. His solution? “As soon as baseball season is over, I’m going to pull the plug.” Sounds just a little hypocritical, doesn’t it?
Hypocrisy strikes the best of people. Even Peter! In obedience to Christ’s Great Commission, Peter had begun preaching the gospel to non-Jewish people and he also shared table fellowship with them. As a Christian he treated all people alike. Peter understood the fact that God was no respecter of persons. But under pressure from representatives of the Jerusalem church, he separated himself from the Gentiles. Peter “waffled.”
One of the worst things about hypocrisy is the fact that it negatively impacts others. Paul says, “Even Barnabas was led astray”(v. 13). Outstanding Christian that he was, even Barnabas was carried away by hypocrisy. None of us are exempt. We are all potential victims of the pressures that would deceive, lead astray and diminish our witness.
Dear Father, keep us from hypocrisy. Help us to be vigilant and to pray for your guidance that all of our behavior will honor you and your gospel. Amen.