When her (the slave girl) owners realized that their hope of making money was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace to face the authorities. They brought them before the magistrates and said, “These men are Jews, and are throwing our city into an uproar by advocating customs unlawful for us Romans to accept or practice. The crowd joined in the attack against Paul and Silas, and the magistrates ordered them to be stripped and beaten with rods. After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown in prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully. When he received these orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks. (Acts 16:19-24)
Anger attracts the enemy. He attacks our minds and makes us want to retaliate. Those with a victim mentality are often angry because they feel a person or a group of people have wronged them.
The owners of the slave girl were using her to make money in an evil manner. When Paul released her from demonic influence, the owners became angry and retaliated. They used a method that is popular today—uniting a mob to commit violence in the name of freedom.
Diversity brings different viewpoints to the table. It is wonderful when dissimilar people work together to find a solution, but when we let diversity divide us, it’s destructive. We want our group to have more freedom at the expense of others. The enemy had a stronghold on the Macedonians, and they didn’t want to allow freedom of religion. They accused Paul and Silas of trying to taking away the freedom that Roman citizens had. In this case it was to prosper at the expense of others.
Mob violence gets attention. We want to appease the groups to make the violence go away. Without a trial Paul and Silas were beaten and their feet were affixed in stocks, so they couldn’t move off of their bloody wounds.
We have diversity in the workplace and, if we have children or intermarry with another group, we have diversity in our homes. Do we handle diversity with anger and violence as the Macedonians did or do we handle it with love and work together to find peaceful solutions as Paul and Silas will do?
Father God, I praise You for the wisdom in Your word. Keep the enemy from me and help me handle diversity by going above and beyond what is expected of me to show your love and seek peaceful solutions at home, in the workplace, and in the world. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.