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. – Galatians 2:11-12
When you are authentic, you are the real deal. You aren’t one thing in public and another thing in private. You aren’t one thing with this group and another thing with that group. To be authentic, you never put politics above people and popularity above principle.
A conversation between Paul and Peter gives us a great example of what it looks like to be authentic. Paul reminds Peter that a big part of character is authenticity. It is being the same person in public as you are in private. You have to be you regardless of where you might be or who you might be with. Paul shows us what authenticity looks like, how authenticity acts, and why authenticity is important.
Paul lets us know right up front he did not talk about Peter behind his back. He didn’t just get one side of the story. He did what we all ought to do if we hear something about someone that gives us a problem or if we have a problem with someone, and that is we go to them directly.
That is what authentic people do. Authentic people don’t gossip, and they don’t listen to gossip. They don’t talk about people; they talk to people. If they have a problem with someone, they man up and woman up and go to the person they have a problem with and talk it out.
Is there someone you need to confront? Is there someone you’ve been talking about that you need to talk to directly? If so, my prayer is that you wouldn’t wait to confront your brother or sister in Christ so that you might point them back to the right path of following Jesus.
Dear Father, thank you for Paul’s reminder in today’s key passage. I pray that you would give me the compassion and the boldness to confront my brother or sister who is acting hypocritically and to point them back to you. In Jesus’ name, amen.