Paul was no lightweight when it came to his convictions about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He didn’t back off or choose the road of least resistance even when he had to confront Peter for hypocritical behaviour.
Now when Peter had come to Antioch, I withstood him to his face, because he was to be blamed; for before certain men came from James, he would eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing those who were of the circumcision. And the rest of the Jews also played the hypocrite with him, so that even Barnabas was carried away with their hypocrisy.
But when I saw that they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter before them all, “If you, being a Jew, live in the manner of Gentiles and not as the Jews, why do you compel Gentiles to live as Jews? (Galatians 2:11-14 NKJV)
Peter wasn͛t being straightforward, so Paul challenged him to his face in front of everybody. Paul had a steely, unyielding conviction about the truth.
How strong is your conviction to change? What are you fully convinced about when it comes to changing your life and living in a way that brings glory to God? If you don͛t live with strong, unyielding convictions about all that Jesus has made available to you and His ability to transform your life, at some point you will be swayed off course – especially when confronted with opposition, pain or sacrifice.
Paul spoke about the “fellowship of Christ’s sufferings.” Life in Christ involves suffering as well as the promises and victories. They are interdependent, not mutually exclusive. We are to “put off” the old way of thinking and behaving, and “put on” the new, transformed nature of Christ.
When we live with conviction, we tend to live up to our convictions and not down to our flaws. Without convictions, life will just ‘happen’ to us.
You can change your life – it’s a matter of choice. Choose LIFE!
Gal 2:11-16 (MSG)
Colossians 3:1-17 (NKJV)