“What shall we do? They will certainly hear that you have come, so do what we tell you. There are four men with us who have made a vow. Take these men, join in their purification rites and pay their expenses, so that they can have their heads shaved. Then everyone will know there is no truth in these reports about you, but that you yourself are living in obedience to the law.” (Acts 21:22-24)
Growing up I was told what is taught at church should stay at church. We didn’t want to offend anyone who didn’t believe in Jesus—a cultural belief, not a Methodist one. My family (not me or my middle sis) ridiculed my cousin who always talked about Jesus. Customs place a stronghold on us. I still have difficulty speaking about Jesus and praying out loud with people who need prayer. Am I a hypocrite? Yes. What should I do?
Did Paul compromise his faith? He hadn’t been keeping Jewish law and didn’t believe he was unclean, so why would he pay for and participate in purification rights when Jesus keeps us pure? He tells us in 1 Corinthians 9:22. “I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some.”
Paul compromised his faith out of love. I can’t say that about myself, so I pray for God to change me. I’m thankful He understands that cultures have strongholds on us. He didn’t choose me to tell others about Jesus—He chose me to write about Him. I thank God for His grace.
Father, I praise You for Your understanding and forgiveness when I compromise my faith. Continue to change me. Give me the power and wisdom of the Holy Spirit as I follow Your will. Keep me and my loved ones safe and free from the enemy and bind us closer to you. In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.