The next morning some Jews formed a conspiracy and bound themselves with an oath not to eat or drink until they had killed Paul. More than forty men were involved in this plot. They went to the chief priests and the elders and said, “We have taken a solemn oath not to eat anything until we have killed Paul. Now then, you and the Sanhedrin petition the commander to bring him before you on the pretext of wanting more accurate information about his case. We are ready to kill him before he gets here.” (Acts 23:12-15)
A plot starts with one person. A member of the Sanhedrin spoke to another about why he didn’t like Paul. Bad feelings and lies spread. They wanted to get rid of him. Most have been on the receiving end of evil and know how it feels, even if the scheme wasn’t against our lives.
We dislike the Sanhedrin for plotting against Paul. But is there someone at school, work, church, or another social group whom you don’t like and wish to get rid of? Have you taken the first step of talking to and helping another person dislike them? Or have you thought about giving accurate information to God and telling Him how you feel? God knows the heart of the other person you dislike and wants to help you.
In 1 Corinthian 4:12b-13a Paul tells how a Christian should handle these situations. “When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it; when we are slandered, we answer kindly.” God blesses and uses Christians who are able to do that. “It is required in stewards that a man be found faithful.” (1 Corinthians 4:2b)
Father, I praise You for listening when another person hurts me. Help me respond with blessings, patience, and kind words. I want to be faithful so you can promote and use me. Thank you for blessing, healing, and keeping my loved ones safe today. Bind them closer to you. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.