Acts 18:12-17

One reason Paul needed to be extraordinarily resilient was that he was constantly being criticized and attacked. Like the toy I mentioned yesterday, someone was always pummeling Paul. 

In today’s verses, the people of Corinth are battering him, claiming that he is persuading people to worship God in ways that are contrary to the law. When Gallio, the ruling official, refuses to hear their complaint, they turn on Sosthenes, a synagogue official, and beat
him up.

This passage reminds us of two painful truths. First, we too will probably be pummeled at some point in our lives. When you read the Bible, you quickly become aware that Scripture’s heroes and heroines are no strangers to conflict. Nearly all of them had to face criticism, even abuse. Why should we think that no one will ever throw a stone
at us?

Second, some people are just angry and will seek out nearly any target for their anger. When this crowd in Corinth could not vent their frustration on Paul, they turned on poor Sosthenes and beat him senseless.

No one knew these two truths better than Jesus. He faced constant criticism and persecution and ended up on a cross for crimes he did not commit. But we stand in awe at his response: “When he was abused, he did not return abuse; when he suffered, he did not threaten; but he entrusted himself to the one who judges justly” (1 Pet 2:23). 

May we find even a small measure of that attitude when someone attacks us.


When I feel under attack, what is my best response to my critics?


God, may you give me the resilience of Paul and the grace of Jesus as I deal with the conflicts in my life. Amen.

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