Friday, September 7th, '18
All rights reserved © message by Kris Jackson
WAITING BEFORE RESPONDING
this she did for many days. But Paul, greatly annoyed, turned and said..." (Acts
The girl sounded like a drippy faucet. Day
after day it was the same broken record, "These men are the servants of the
Most High God, who proclaim to us the way of salvation" (vs 17). The publicity
was free but the motivation was selfish. Paul got "annoyed" or "grieved" as it
says in the older version. Eventually he "turned and said to the spirit, I
command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out
that very hour". Notice she had a he living inside her. Makes
Ghostbusters look tame in comparison.
The question is, why did Paul wait "many days"
before dealing with the annoyance? Obviously, some matters need dealt with on
the spot, but more often the mature thing is to be patient. You don't have to
answer every critic that challenges your intention. "A fool utters all his
mind: but a wise man keeps it in until afterward" (Proverbs 29:11). One school
of thought says to nip everything in the bud but I tend to disagree. Jesus said
to let the wheat and tares grow up together "lest while you gather the tares
you also uproot the wheat with them" (Matthew 13:29). Most issues will blow
over; of course a wise manager may turn up the fan to help it along. Then if
there is no improvement you can take matters in hand, as did Paul, and rebuke
the spirit behind the thing, but there is no cause for jumping the gun.
You may need to wait "many days" to see if you
are judging the matter correctly. It was not entirely apparent that the servant
girl was out of line in her expression. Her publicity sounded overly zealous,
maybe fanatical, but who would have thought it demonic? Paul discerned which
but rather than confuse people he left the issue alone, though before it turned
ridiculous he responded. That was a judgment call.
What about that time the centurion and captain
of the ship refused to listen to Paul and navigated straight into the eye of a
Mediterranean storm? The flesh wants satisfaction and immediately steps in to
say, "See, I told you so!" Paul eventually did that but only after "many days".
"But after long abstinence", he piped up, "Men, you should have listened to
me..." (Acts 27:21) What did his long-suffering hurt? There was no need to speak
any sooner. Some issues need left well enough alone. "He that passes by, and
meddles with strife belonging not to him, is like one that takes a dog by the
ears" (Proverbs 26:17). Don't come bawling to me if you get bit in the process.
Much pain can be avoided if you will wait until your opinion is requested. "But
I have to say something!" Why? "Who made you a prince and a judge over us?"
(Exodus 2:14) That is what the two Hebrews asked Moses when he tried to referee
an alley fight in which he had no stake. Wisdom remains silent until there is
an unction to speak. Oftentimes there need not be a word said. People are
learning, growing and facing their own issues between them and God. You or I as
a third party getting in the way only muddies the water. "But it will turn to
you for a testimony" (Luke 21:13). At that moment, when they turn to you, you
can put in your two cents. Until then it probably is best to just remain
"annoyed", but keep it to yourself.