Not taking advantage
(The Philippine Star) - July 10, 2020 - 12:00am

Don’t harm yourself! We are all here! — Acts 16:28

Several inmates were collecting roadside garbage to reduce their jail time when their supervisor, James, collapsed. They rushed to his aid and realized he was having a medical emergency. One inmate borrowed James’ phone to call for help. The sheriff’s department later thanked the inmates for helping get their supervisor prompt medical attention, especially because they could have instead neglected him — to his great detriment as he was having a stroke — or used the situation to their own advantage to escape. 

The kindness of the inmates’ actions is not unlike those of Paul and Silas when they were imprisoned. After they’d been stripped, beaten, and thrown into prison, an earthquake struck so violently that it loosed their chains and shook the prison doors off their hinges (Acts 16:23-26). When the jailer awoke, he naturally assumed the prisoners had fled, so he prepared to take his own life (to preempt what would’ve been his punishment for their escape). When Paul shouted, “We are all here!” (v. 28) the jailer was so moved by their actions — uncharacteristic of prisoners — that he became curious about the God they worshiped, ultimately coming to believe in Him too (vv. 29-34). 

The way we treat others reveals what we believe and value. When we choose to do good instead of harm, our actions might just prompt them to wonder about the God we know and love. — Kirsten Holmberg

In what situation can you choose to not take advantage for your own gain? How might that decision benefit someone else?

READ: Acts 16:22-34

Loving God, help me to make choices that will draw others to You.

Bible in a Year: Job 41-42 and Acts 16:22-40

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