Date: Friday, August 16
Scripture: Acts 22:17-29
Verse: Up to this point they listened to him, but then they shouted, “Away with such a fellow from the earth! For he should not be allowed to live.” (Acts 22:22)
I have heard people compared to icebergs. As much as 90% of an iceberg is under water, leaving only 10% of it visible. We human beings tend to also present only a small fraction of who we are to those we don’t know well. The iceberg analogy is intended to keep us from making rush judgements about people, and instead seeking to find what is beneath the surface. A simple example is a kid who is difficult in school or with her friends. When one learns what it beneath the surface, like her parents are going through a divorce, we become more empathetic to the child’s plight and less reactionary toward her actions.
Paul has been relating his story of his relationship with Jesus and his call to ministry. Suddenly, we read the people stopped listening to him and began shouting him down. What appears to be a calm discussion in the early verses of chapter 22, becomes irrationally confrontational in verse 22. The mob is no longer listening to his defense, but instead acts hastily tying up and preparing Paul for flogging, which was a criminal act without a trial when the accused was a Roman citizen like Paul.
Sometimes when we talk about Jesus we might come to a point where the other shifts gears from listening to confrontational. Hopefully they will not prepare you for flogging, but you may feel attacked and have no understanding as to why. It seemed to be going well. There is probably something happening beneath the surface. Maybe it is time then to listen. You may begin to hear what is beneath the surface. It may be a time of great connection, deepening relationship, and opening doors to another time when the other will be more receptive toward hearing about Jesus.
Prayer: Holy Spirit, give me wisdom and patience to explore what is beneath the surface, even when I feel attacked. Amen.
Action: Think through ways you would like to respond when you are feeling attacked.
Respond: When has your opinion changed when you learned more about the part of someone’s iceberg that is beneath the surface? Answer by clicking “Leave a Comment” below. If you are receiving this via email, click the title at the top of the email to take you to the devotion webpage where you can leave a comment.