What I read today;
Revelation 18-19; Acts 23-24; Zecharius 13-14; Proverbs 29; Song of Songs 7; Deuteronomy 32
It’s clear that Paul knew that he was going to face trouble when he returned to Jerusalem. However, I wonder if he thought he’d be standing before the Roman governor with the Jewish high council attempting to have him strung up. Standing there in chains had to be a difficult moment for the Apostle. So when the governor motioned to him to speak, it would have been understandable for Paul to go on the attack. He could have attacked the character of the chief priest and his cronies. Paul could have demanded a lawyer be present and allow him to cross-examine these men, which would have been quite the site since they had no evidence against Paul whatsoever. Paul could have demanded they be punished, and he released since he was a Roman citizen being falsely accused by non-Roman citizens.
Instead of responding in anger and hate, Paul responds to the attacks with the love of the Gospel. He proclaims the truth of the hope we have in the resurrection.
It didn’t matter his circumstances or his feelings, Paul would always err on the side of the Gospel. No matter who it was, Paul still extended the olive branch of Grace.
So how can we apply this to our lives? Well ask yourself, how do you respond when you are attacked personally? Do you strike back? Do you load the cannons full of vitriol and acidic language? Wouldn’t it be better if we did as Paul did and use the attack as an opportunity to reach one more soul for Jesus Christ? Wouldn’t it be better if rather than running to facebook or twitter we headed to God in prayer?
Growing in grace requires us to understand what Jesus meant when he said to turn the other cheek. It requires of us the idea that we will look at all human beings as children of God who need our love and kindness and the grace of the living God.