Misjudged

They were jailed under false charges by men who cared more about money than anything else. Not just jailed, but beaten and locked in an inner prison with their feet fastened in stocks. There Paul and Silas sat, punished for something they did not do.

When I am treated wrongly, falsely accused or harshly treated, I tend to focus on the injustice of it all. My pride wants justice, respect and an apology. I demand restitution for the injustice. Yet I read in Acts 16:22-34 how Paul and Silas responded very differently to their situation. “But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them (verse 25).”

What strikes me about this verse is not necessarily that they were praying and praising God, it’s that the other prisoners were listening to them. They were observing how these Christians responded to wrongful treatment. Paul and Silas were showing the other prisoners their trust in God’s purpose for their life. This is something I often forget — that others are watching us in times of trouble. They want to know if our faith in Jesus is real and how it holds up under pressure.

© 2021, CGThelen

12 thoughts on “Misjudged

  1. Amen! This testament of what faith and hope should look like points our hearts upon the Cross, where Jesus refused to be judge. He simply followed His Father’s will.

  2. May God strengthen us and help us to seek him when we are unjustly treated by others. May we praise Him. Thanks for the comment. Blessings.

  3. I marvel at how they sang and praised God. Yes, may we do the same under fire. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Blessings.

  4. Ooph. Good lesson. Like you, when treated wrongly, I tend to focus on the injustice. This applies to me not in public situations, but in private. Sometimes those closest to us lash out and treat us unjustly. When I think to respond as Christ, and put my own flesh and emotions aside; when I wait patiently upon the Lord and humble myself under Him, He resolves the situation into peace. I stand amazed.
    Your second point, about others watching us, is a pretty scary thought. Again, if I stand under God and in obedience, He redeems.

  5. I’ve never considered the significance of the detail that the other prisoners were listening to Paul and Silas. Such a genuine expression of faith, under very unfavorable circumstances, must have been hard to ignore. May God give us the grace to be like Paul and Silas—filled with God’s praise, even while under fire.

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