When Cephas (Peter) came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face because he stood condemned. For before certain men came from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles. But when they; arrived, he began to draw back and separate himself from the Gentiles because he was afraid of those who belonged to the circumcision group. The other Jews joined him in his hypocrisy so that by their hypocrisy, even Barnabas was led astray. (Galatians 2:11-13)
Before attending the Florida Christian Writers Conference, I had a flat tire. I ordered a new one from Walmart and made an appointment to have the spare replaced the day before the conference. My appointment was at 8:00 a.m., so I should’ve been home by 9 to complete my writer’s critique class submissions. Besides a bit of heel-tapping, I waited patiently in line until 8:30, when the cashier told me that their computers were down for three weeks and they couldn’t put on tires. She blamed the evening shift—they should’ve called me—but they didn’t.
It took another ten minutes for her to complete my paperwork and get the tire from the back and five more to get a technician to put it in my trunk. I still didn’t lose my temper but possibly took a tone at the cashier, who wasn’t the least sympathetic about my predicament. I’m sure I said, “It would’ve been nice for someone to call me so I could’ve gone to another tire store,” no less than five times. Her response was, “No problem, any Walmart can put it on.”
So I went to the Walmart on the other side of town, circled the store, and couldn’t find their auto shop. An employee confirmed they didn’t have one. So I drove south out of Ocala to another Walmart. During my hour-and-a-half wait, since I had no appointment at that Walmart, I told my story to a customer service rep and anyone else who would listen. And as you can see, I’m still telling the more extended version of the story.
I can relate to our beloved Peter, who doesn’t handle stress well. He denied Jesus three times when he feared for his life. Now he betrays his Gentile Christian friends because he’s afraid of peer pressure from Jews who believed Christians should keep Jewish laws.
The church is full of hypocrites, myself included. I realize God will continue to let me go through stressful situations until I can spread God’s love during those times when I’m pressured. When I can handle stress with a smile and spread God’s love, I’ll be more like Jesus. And God won’t need to place me in stressful situations.
Father, help me be a mirror to reflect your glory. Have your Spirit work within me so I can become more like Jesus. Take my stress and solve my problems. I praise you for being my refuge. Keep my family safe today and bind us closer to you. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
2 thoughts on “SOAP Devotion Galatians 2:11-13 – How do you handle stressful situations? – Free online Bible study – Commentary in easy English – Day 718”
You told me that you had to have your tire replaced but you didn’t tell me what happened when you went to replace it. When I am under time line pressure, that is when I get pretty irritated and I do not handle stress very well. I’m not sure I think that God puts us in stressful situations. You can’t live life without being stressed because people aren’t perfect and they make mistakes. I’m sorry you had to go through that at such a busy time. People just don’t care about doing their job correctly or well anymore. The attitude is “Oh well” from the employer and the employees. When I get upset in a stressful situation, I need to concentrate more on how to end the stress, not increase the stress. Saying a prayer for being calm might help.
I guess there is no way to know whether or not God puts us in stressful situations or not. I had the nicest Kroger deliveryman this morning who brightened my day. I choose to think that God sent the nicest instead of the meanest. I also believe that God lets stress enter my life, so I can learn to deal with it like Jesus would. I think there is a fine line between God letting us go through the opportunity of a stressful situation or putting us in it. Many people think they are put in certain circumstances by chance and that’s okay. I choose to think of how God shows his love in many different ways. And that helps me feel better.