Read Acts 21:15-26
When Paul gets to Jerusalem a few really cool things happen.
First, he gets to report all of the cool things God had done with his ministry among the gentiles. The neat thing is that the church leaders that he talked to were excited and glorified God as a result.
Second, Paul showed submission to the Jewish church leaders. These leaders had already worked through a right theology when it came to what they should ask of the new gentile believers. The leaders of the church at Jerusalem also told Paul that some people believed that Paul was spreading an irreverent attitude toward parts of the Judaic law among the gentiles. This of course was not true. They suggested that Paul showed them differently by still taking part in some of the traditions that they had not yet forsaken that God was still permitting at this time.
Why would Paul do this? He gives us the answer in 1 Corinthians 9:20-22. “And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law. To them that are without law as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law. To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men that I might by all means
How can I apply this to my life?
Paul and these men give us a wonderful example in the text today…
If what is being asked is not wrong, sometimes it is better to submit to it for the sake of harmony. Is there something that you are doing that is offending someone or making it difficult for them to live rightly? Even though you may have a right to do it, it may be better to stop it for their sake.
Ultimately, Paul’s motivation was the proclamation of the gospel to all people. This guided his thoughts and actions. Do they govern mine?