Paul and Silas were beaten and tossed into prison illegally.
God intervened and used the opportunity to convert the jailer and his household. It’s a cool story until the following morning when the city officials try to get Paul and Silas to leave without making a fuss about their unlawful punishment.
Why not leave well enough alone? They’ve already been flogged and thrown into a dungeon. Why risk embarrassing the city leaders again?
But Paul said to the officers: “They beat us publicly without a trial, even though we are Roman citizens, and threw us into prison. And now do they want to get rid of us quietly? No! Let them come themselves and escort us out.” (Acts 16:37)
Paul wasn’t after retribution or vengeance. He didn’t demand a public beating or some sort of punishment for the officials who’d broken the law. But he also knew he needed to confront his persecutors.
Paul decided to set things right. He decided to seek justice, even at the risk of his personal safety.
The bible says the magistrates were alarmed when they learned Paul and Silas were Roman citizens and they came to appease them. Perhaps Paul used the opportunity, as he did earlier with the jailer, to demonstrate grace and forgiveness. I don’t know.
What’s certain is that it’s always the right time to seek justice, to balance the scales and set things right.
The trick, at least for me, is to make sure I’m balancing God’s scales rather than mine. It’s awfully tempting to get self-righteous about my personal USAmerican sense of justice which is usually about punishment or some version of getting even and doesn’t have much to do with what Jesus had in mind.
ALWAYS SEEK JUSTICE
Now all I have to do is be aware of injustice, understand what it means to correct it, and summon the courage to act regardless of risk.
That’s all. Sure glad Jesus is along in case I miss a step or two.
Don’t miss CIR’s Daily Article !
Not a member of CIR yet? Join us Today!
Copyright by Rich Dixon, All Rights Reserved. Used by permission.
Rich is an author and speaker. He is the author of:
Relentless Grace: God’s Invitation To Give Hope Another Chance. Visit his web site www.relentlessgrace.com