It screeched across my soul like fingernails on a blackboard. What the minister preached was so off base. The Scripture he quoted was twisted out of context in order to make his point. Sitting halfway back in an audience of hundreds, walking out was not an option. Instead, I bowed my head and prayed for the Spirit to shelter everyone’s ears.
There are times when God prompts us to call someone out when they misinterpret our beliefs or Scripture. Other times, we must, like Jesus in front of Pilate, remain quiet. Wisdom, guided by the Holy Spirit, tell us either their hearts are too hardened to absorb the truth, or if perhaps the timing is wrong.
This passage is important because originally Peter and Paul didn’t see eye to eye on several issues regarding the new Gentile converts. But God worked on them, and in the end, I think the fact that Peter’s words above were preserved in Scripture shows how misunderstandings can be healed when God, the peacemaker, steps in.
When someone misinterprets Scripture, ridicules your actions, or criticizes your faith, it is best to not lash back in an emotional outburst. Instead, ask the Holy Spirit to intervene and bring wisdom to the situation. Is it the right time? Can you talk with that person one or one instead of when others are around?
Then obey God’s prompting, even if it is not the way you want to react. He may have a lesson in store for you as well.
Dearest Lord, keep me grounded in your Word so my actions and beliefs are molded by your truth, not vice versa. Let your Holy Spirit discern what it true and what is not. When confronted with error, give me the wisdom to know when to respond and when to step back and pray. Amen.
Go Deeper — Read Acts 10:9-28. How did God correct Peter’s beliefs? How did Peter respond? What can you learn from this?
Photo Credit: Magnezis