I’m like Peter.
I tend to speak and act before I think. I tend to be passionate and prone to exaggeration. And, like Peter, I struggle with fear. I hate to admit it, but when it comes to the issue of racial reconciliation (harmony instead of melody) I’ve lived in fear…like Peter. I would sit back and view things from a safe distance. Sitting here now, I wonder what I was afraid of? I’m not afraid of people from other ethnicities. So what was I afraid of?
Like Peter, I was afraid of my own group. And that played itself out in three ways…
- I was afraid of public conflicts. I can do “care-frontation” in person as well as the next pastor, but I try to stay out of big, public arguments, especially on the internet!
- I was afraid that my convictions wouldn’t hold up to argument and discussion. My church family has some really smart people in it. We love the Word and study it so I didn’t want to step out into something I couldn’t support.
- I was afraid of being labeled a “groupie” for the “issue-of-the-day”. You’ve seen them. From earthquakes in Haiti to racial reconciliation, we all tend to jump on the band-wagon at times, but what does that change?
But, like Peter, I’ve also come to the place where I see that the gospel message has something to say about racial reconciliation. As we read in Acts 10, Peter said,
…“I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right.
Jesus died to save souls and also to break down the wall of prejudice that separates us. He is our peace. He is the way the truth and the life and that life includes harmony with brothers and sisters who don’t look like me…or you. This is what Peter came to understand. He had to be publicly “care-fronted” by Paul, but he got it. And to his credit, he lived it out.
I hope I’m able to be like Peter.
**Thanks again to John Piper’s book, Bloodlines (Chapter 12 specifically!) for help in seeing myself in Peter.