The Difference between Weak and False

“As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions.” (Romans 14:1-23)

 “When Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned.”  (Galatians 2: 11)

Jesus … said to Peter, ‘Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling-block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.’” (Matthew 16:23)

There’s a difference between being “weak” and being “false.” We welcome the weak, but we stand against the “false.”

And of course, we slip between those categories ourselves. Peter had an amazing revelation of who Jesus was (in Matthew 16) and Jesus commended his spiritual insight, but Jesus withstood Peter in the strongest terms, when he suggested that Jesus avoid the pain of the cross: “Get behind me, Satan.” And in Galatians 2, in the face of Peter’s hypocrisy, Paul said: “I opposed him.”

But here’s the big question:  how do you know the difference between  the one and the other?  In Matthew 16, it would seem to be the difference between “merely human concerns” and “the concerns of God.”  Similarly, in Galatians 2, it’s the difference between what is done for human praise, and what is done for God’s glory.

Lord, I believe there’s a time to confront.

But now, Lord, I ask for wisdom and a heart of love, so that I know when that time is, and how to do it in a way that doesn’t “write people off” but restores them back into the track of what you’re doing in their lives.

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