First of all, Cristy and I wish to extend our apologies to everyone for the missed days of this challenge. No excuses, but the reason is that we just have had too much on our plates trying to get a new endeavor off the ground, and in so doing, there were just not enough hours in the day to get it all done, as well as do this and fit sleep into the schedule. For the past few weeks, we have averaged between 3 and 5 hours per night, with Cristy pulling an all-niter a few nights ago. Yeah, I know, she must have some of those ‘new mom hormones’ still in her system or something, ‘cause she made me feel completely weak that I just could not hang.
If you have missed days of the challenge too, it’s okay! We covered in Sunday school this morning that there are going to be times when the world will make it hard to stay on top of our daily devotions, the key is to pick back up where you left off when you once again have the time. Necque.
We have the desire to write these entries; it is not just a commitment that we have made, although it is that as well. In writing these, we gain insight into ourselves and each other as well. And more importantly, these build our relationships with God.
So, Paul and Silas get publicly flogged (a punishment which they, as Roman citizens, were not supposed to be subject to without a trial) and thrown into a Roman prison to be held for trial. Despite the unfairness and persecution they have been subjected to, when the opportunity for escape presents itself, they instead turn to the welfare of their pagan jailer, saving him from committing suicide. In return, he washes their wounds and is in turn offered the washing away of his sins. They present him and his entire household with the good news of salvation through Christ Jesus, and they accept!
God shook the jail open, and unlocked their chains. What would you have done? Modern worldly ‘wisdom’ would have cast the jailer in the role of ‘enemy’ and said that he deserved whatever happened to him, and that Paul and Silas should have run for it. But, Paul set an example for all of us; even wrongfully punished and imprisoned, he did not see an enemy. He saw another human being whom he could extend love and compassion to, and he did it.
When someone lashes out at us, especially when we have not done anything that we know of to elicit their response, we typically react in justified anger and they become our enemy. What if instead we recognize that their perspective is different, and we put forth the effort to find out what hurts they have that put them in that state of emotional being? What would that kind of ‘foolishness’ look like to the world at large?