- Galatians 2:1-6:18
“I went up because of a revelation and set before them (though privately before those who seemed influential) the gospel that I proclaim among the Gentiles…” –Galatians 2:2, ESV
Paul, known for his direct language and assumed gruff manner, took a strategic approach. In this letter to the Galatians, Paul went to influential people privately to share the gospel. Though not afraid to call someone out in their sin, Paul took steps the show respect to these people. Paul knew not only when to speak the truth, but how to speak it as well.
In this trip, he first only went upon receiving a revelation to do so. He didn’t jump the gun or push himself into a situation where the Spirit wasn’t leading him. Then, he went to the opinion leaders in a respectful way. He didn’t cry out in the streets or wage a protest in their yards. He took private moments to share the truth. I suspect those moments allowed the influential to ask difficult question or even private questions that they could figure out their own stance without needing to figure it out in front of a crowd.
If the fire-starter Paul could control his truth-telling ways to show respect, we should learn a lesson from him. Rather than driving full force into a situation, Paul waited for the Spirit’s leading and honored the needs of those with whom he shared the message. Effectiveness comes in a number of ways; be sensitive to the Spirit’s leading in sharing the gospel.