Acts 11:1-3 (NLT)
1Soon the news reached the apostles and other believers in Judea that the Gentiles had received the word of God. 2But when Peter arrived back in Jerusalem, the Jewish believers criticized him. 3“You entered the home of Gentiles and even ate with them!” they said.
“Oh my goodness!! Do you see who he’s eating lunch with? Does he know who they are? How can he possibly be associating with those people? Well, that’s it. His reputation is trashed. Good luck getting a prom date now!”
It’s not just your school. It was 2000 years ago, too. OK, well, maybe not the prom date part. Peter was married anyway.
In this passage, Peter had just returned from being a missionary to the Gentiles. When the Bible uses the word “Gentile,” it is referring to people not of the Jewish faith or people who lived outside of the nation of Israel. So, people were prejudiced against them based on race and religion.
That’s why, when Peter returned, it wasn’t, “That’s great! The Gentiles are starting to learn about God. We should send more people to help them along!” Instead, it was, “What are you thinking spending time with them?” What a bunch of hypocrites. Luckily, this negative peer pressure didn’t stop Peter.
Your friends’ prejudices can drag you right down, too. There will be times when your Christian integrity is tested and you will have to decide between listening to Jesus and listening to your friends. It’s not easy, but God has promised to give you the strength to do what is right. Pray for that strength, and for God’s guidance in all things.
If today’s devotion spoke to you in a particular way and you feel led to share your thoughts with others, please do so.