Understanding Galatians 2: Resolving Conflict
"When Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. For before certain men came from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles. But when they arrived, he began to draw back and separate himself from the Gentiles because he was afraid of those who belonged to the circumcision group. The other Jews joined him in his hypocrisy, so that by their hypocrisy even Barnabas was led astray." Galatians 2:11-13
When we face disagreements or see someone who is clearly in the wrong, it can be tempting to distance ourselves from that person. In our highly-connected culture, this can look like unfriending on social media, not replying to texts, refusing to speak face-to-face, or even canceling relationships.
Christians aren’t exempt from these types of conflicts, but the Bible gives us a guidebook on how to handle them. In Galatians 2:11-13, we see a heated situation between Peter and Paul, two leaders of the early church. When Paul notices Peter is living a double-standard life and being hypocritical, he addresses the situation. Scripture says Paul “opposed him to his face.” He didn’t shy away from Peter or hide behind a messenger. He didn’t rally others to turn against him. Paul spoke directly to Peter about his sin. He didn’t tear him down as a person; he kept his comments focused on the actions themselves. He spoke up because he understood the influence they both had on others. Too much was at stake to not say something.
We too will find ourselves in situations where we stand opposed to others, sometimes we’ll even need to confront sin. Although it’s uncomfortable, it's important that we find courage and gracefully address conflicts when they arise.
How do you typically handle conflict and confrontation? Why do you think that is?
If someone needs to correct you, how do you hope you’ll respond?
God calls us to not judge but to give grace in conflict. The Bible encourages us to speak directly with others when opposition arises. How can you apply this to your Huddle, team, or community?
James 5:20; Philippians 3:12-14; Matthew 18:15-19
"Jesus, I ask for the courage to address conflicts and confrontations with grace. Help me be aware of those I influence and stand up for the truth in love."