Do Nothing

Often when we hold back from doing what everyone else is doing, it becomes noticeable. 

Acts 16:16-40

Reference: But Paul shouted, “Don’t harm yourself! We are all here!” (Acts 16:28 NIV)

Explore: Sometimes we can have more of an impact by what we DON’T do rather than what we do.

When I was at high school I remember having a conversation with some of my class mates and one of them pointed out that I didn’t swear. Soon everyone was agreeing that I didn’t use bad language and it seemed so strange to them.

When I was chaplain at a primary school I would spend quite a bit of time supporting the staff. Once one of them said to me, “I feel I could tell you anything because I know you won’t blab it around the rest of the staff room. You’re the only one here who doesn’t gossip.”

Now, there are plenty of things in my life that I do wrong, but often when we hold back from doing what everyone else is doing, it becomes noticeable.

Application: Paul and Silas were incredible missionaries who had a huge impact on our world by proclaiming Jesus as the messiah. In this account in Acts 16 we see that their inaction spoke just as much as their action.

They had been mistreated, beaten and jailed unfairly, yet God had prevailed and shaken the prison doors open through an earthquake. Most people would have been quick to act and run for the hills. However, Paul was not like everyone else.

Because Paul didn’t run he changed the life of the jailer and his whole family. In fact, this story continues to impact lives today.

God doesn’t call us to act on what is best for us, but He asks us to look for the best for others. Paul represented God beautifully here by putting the needs of a jail guard before his own desires.

So often the people we surround ourselves with influence us in how to act and react. The more we immerse ourselves in God’s word, the more influence it will have on how we act.

Prayer: Lord, help us to find opportunities to shine Your light in our world. Give us discipline to hold back on acting out so that we can be an example for You. Amen.

What difference have people noticed in your life due to your faith?

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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.