But when Peter came to Antioch, I [Paul] had to oppose him to his face, for what he did was very wrong.
Something really interesting unfolds in Galatians 2. Peter clearly sins by dissing his Gentile brothers when some church leaders from Jerusalem show up on the scene. But you know what was cool? Peter had a friend who was willing to get in his face and kick his rear end. Paul and Peter were friends, and they had an engaging relationship where they were willing to disrupt each others’ sinful behaviors and thinking.
Some of us only select friends who are “safe” – they won’t push us too hard, disrupt our lives or rock the boat. They may feel good to have around, but the problem is we will never change with those kinds of friends.
We need disruptive friends to become Christians, and we need disruptive friends to grow as Christians. There is a reason Heb 10:24 says that we should “spur one another on toward love and good deeds.” We all need spurring if we are to become more loving and more prolific “doers of good.” Notice the passage does not tell us to “hang out and play cards and hope the other person becomes more loving.” Life just doesn’t work that way!
Of course, that spurring on doesn’t always feel good. I am sure Peter didn’t feel good when Paul rebuked him, but it most certainly helped him spiritually. If we want a breakthrough in our lives, we need authentic friends who will help us get there.
So get out of your comfort zone and go after some disruptive friends. Find one or two people who are willing to “speak the truth in love” because they want you to grow. You’ll be glad you did!
Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.