Saturday, July 29, 2017
2Pet. 3:14 Therefore, beloved, while you are waiting for these things, strive to be found by him at peace, without spot or blemish; 15 and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation. So also our beloved brother Paul wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, 16 speaking of this as he does in all his letters. There are some things in them hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other scriptures. 17 You therefore, beloved, since you are forewarned, beware that you are not carried away with the error of the lawless and lose your own stability. 18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.
This epistle of Peter is coming to a close. It is filled with encouragement for those who are following Christ in the midst of difficult days. The discipleship of believers was of utmost importance for this is what Jesus had instructed them to do!
Peter and Paul are not in competition with one another, but are serving together in leadership. The support for Paul is shown by the comment in this letter, noting that Paul has been writing letters as well. Somehow it had become known that there were those who struggled with Paul’s letters. Paul was more educated than Peter and may have used language which people chose to twist to their own benefit. The encouragement here was to refuse this kind of commentary. In other words, listen carefully to what Paul is saying and don’t let anyone lead you astray, whether sometimes it’s hard to decipher his writing, or not.
Peter and Paul are on the same team with the same goal of making Christlike disciples. There is to be no division among these men and they refuse to allow others to create barriers or divides. If they are going to serve God, they will do it united, all the while showing public support for one another. In this way Jesus will be glorified both now, and for all of eternity.
I can’t imagine what it must have been like for two giants of the faith like Peter and Paul to be in the same room. They didn’t always see eye to eye. Paul was willing to call Peter out when it came to his behavior around Gentiles. They had fiery discussions at the first council meeting in Jerusalem, and yet, they were always willing to support one another. They never allowed their differences to create division and they remained committed to the truths of the Gospel. Knowing and following Christ was of utmost importance in their lives.
We are often placed together in this world in teams, partnering together with others to fulfill the mission of making Christlike disciples. This should happen in the family setting. We have a responsibility of teaching faith to those who will come after us. In a marriage relationship there must be a commitment to supporting the spouse. There may be disagreements from time to time, but there should also be mutual support. Peter and Paul did not undermine the ministry of the other, but rather went out of their way to be supportive. Critical attitudes and comments will drive a wedge into a marriage relationship but intentional support will go a long way in producing harmony and strength of discipleship among children.
We will always find something about which we can criticize our pastor or another religious leader. We all have our flaws! However, if we take all of our time pointing out all the flaws we will end up being deeply wounded and damaged individuals. Not just the person about whom we are being critical, but even ourselves. Often our criticisms stem from our own insecurities. Celebrate the good things that God is doing in your midst. Honor your pastor for their faithfulness during difficult days. Publicly speak in support of what they are doing. Choose to only disagree over things that really matter.
Support your coworkers and surprise them by your attitude. Don’t seek to be praised, but take every opportunity to celebrate the achievements of others. Don’t give the enemy any space to create division between yourself and those with whom God has placed you for fellowship. Intentionally supporting those with whom you are doing life will bring positive results.
Lord, may you be glorified in the relationships that you have brought into my life. Please help me to support those within my family, church and my coworkers. Amen.