When they heard this, they had no further objections and praised God, saying, “So then, God has granted even the Gentiles repentance unto life.” ~ Acts 11:18
I would love to have been the proverbial fly on the wall when Peter returned to Jerusalem from Antioch and was confronted by the church elders regarding his visit with Cornelius’ family. Such a visit in a Gentile home was forbidden under Jewish law, and his brethren called him on it. When Peter explains the basis for his actions, the brethren begin celebrating the fact that the Gospel was also intended for Gentiles. Jesus’ statement about spreading the Gospel to the entire world was indeed coming to fruition!
I am struck by the apostles’ treatment of one another: As they seek to hold one another accountable for their actions, they are also willing to listen out of mutual love and respect. We can take a lesson from them. We are often too quick to rise up in judgment and jump to conclusions. And when we do, we often don’t listen to one another. Rather than working together out of mutual respect, dissention and division sometimes unnecessarily take over. In times of conflict we must stand firmly on God’s Word and hold fellow believers to that same standard; but in doing so, we must always treat one another out of Christian love and respect, even when we ultimately disagree.
Ponder this: Do I listen well? Does my discourse contribute to the problem or to the solution?
My prayer for today: Heavenly Father, thank you for reminding me how I must treat my brothers and sisters in Christ. Although we will sometimes disagree – and not always reach agreement – help me to always see others with the kind of love You have for each and every one of us. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.