Two-faced people can be very difficult to endure. They speak one way about you to your face, and then another way when you are gone. This can be frustrating. People are two-faced for many reasons. Maybe they enjoy hating on people. Or they esteem politeness too much. Sometimes it’s because they lack backbone.
In Galatians, we see one instance of this. Galatians 2 speaks of Paul’s meeting with Peter at Antioch. Peter had walked with Christ. Had seen miracles. Had understood salvation. Peter knew the new covenant Christ set up. But Peter lacked backbone. He lacked conviction. And he was allowing himself to act differently depending on which Christians he was around.
There was a disagreement at the time as to whether new believers needed to follow all Jewish law. Specifically circumcision. Circumcision had been done away with by the new covenant, but many Jews wrongly believed it was necessary. Peter would act all friendly to new converts who lived in Christian liberty, but when certain Jews came around, he would pull away from the new converts who weren’t circumcised.
Paul said flat out, “I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.” Paul wasn’t having it. He wasn’t going to sit by and allow Peter to live this double life.
Galatians 2 points out that Peter was afraid.
He was afraid of what others might think or say. He was afraid to take a stand.
After Paul confronted him, Peter repented and changed his actions. He took a stand for what was right.
How about you? Do you act differently around different crowds of people? Do you exercise Christian liberty with some Christians, and then abandon them when “more strict” Christians come around?
I challenge you. Take a stand for your beliefs. Don’t make a scene or start a fight, but be open about what you believe and what is right. Don’t be afraid to “look bad” in the eyes of other Christians when you know you are following what the Bible teaches.
Peter was to blame. You don’t have to be.