by Rick Duncan, Cuyahoga Valley Church Founding Pastor
Over the last several days, we’ve seen from the encounter between Paul and Peter in Galatians 2:11-14 that Peter was a lifelong learner because he made some great decisions.
Decision #1 – I will hear my godly critics
Decision #2 – I will heed my godly critics
And today….. Decision #3 – I will help my godly critics.
Peter was publicly challenged by Paul. How will he respond? To get an idea of Peter’s response to Paul, you have to read what Peter wrote down. Would he say, “That jerk, Paul, embarrassed me in front of a whole church?” Nope! Here’s what he later wrote about Paul.
Our dear brother Paul… wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. II Peter 3:15 (NIV)
You know what this does? It is a stamp of approval on the 13 books that Paul wrote! He’s saying, “Just in case you want to know what I think about Paul’s life and ministry, consider this. He’s my dear brother! What he’s written is from God. It’s good stuff. Read it and be wise!”
Peter is building up Paul. He’s making him look good. He’s giving Paul further credibility. At the end of his life Peter looks to Paul not as a rival but as a dear brother. He’s applying the truth in Proverbs 22.
Pay attention and listen to the sayings of the wise… Proverbs 22:17 (NIV)
Do you tend to try to bring down a critic in the eyes of others? Or do you tend to lift him up in the eyes of others? Do you seek to open up other doors for ministry for your critics? Do you say, “Thanks. You helped me. Now I want to help you help others?”
To help me become a lifelong learner:
- I will hear my godly critics.
- I will heed my godly critics.
- I will help my godly critics.