Reference: v.6 But when the Jews opposed Paul and became abusive, he shook out his clothes in protest and said to them, “Your blood be on your own heads! I am clear of my responsibility. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.” (NIV Bible)
Explore: When is enough, enough? You just have to read one chapter about Paul and see that he is not a quiter. And yet here we see him throw his hands up at the Jews as he just keeps hitting a brick wall when trying to reason with them. Now, I think Paul would have been a hard man to handle. He was so incredibly passionate and extremely committed to what he was doing. So was it wrong for him to ‘give up’ on the Jews and go speak to the Gentiles instead?
Application: I think Paul had given his best in communicating with the Jews at the time, but I think he made an important judgment call, which is a good lesson for us all. He assessed who he was and what he was called to do, and he weighed it up with what he had been trying to accomplish for 18 months. It didn’t seem to be working, so what was going to change? Paul was not going to change his approach as his transformation on the road to Emmaus had set the rest of his life on it’s path. Therefore it was his context that needed to change for him to still utilize his strengths and do what he did best – evangelize.
So often we continue to flog a dead horse because it’s all we’ve known or was the original plan. We need to constantly be assessing our gifts and abilities and make sure that we are using them to the best of our ability in the best place possible. Now, let’s keep in perspective that Paul was in Corinth for 18 months. He didn’t give it one shot and then move on to the next thing. He was persistent to the point where he felt he could go no further and then moved on. May we be as open to change and as persistent with our gifts, so we can make the most significant impact on the Kingdom of God today.
Prayer: Lord, some of us are so resistant to change. Help us to see the bigger picture when we are working for you. On the other hand, some of us struggle to really knuckle down on one particular project. Help us to have the endurance to give something our best. And may all we do work towards building Your kingdom here on earth. Amen.
This article was written by Linda Bailey
Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.