Acts 16: Avoiding Revenge
Revenge seems to be popular. On any television drama, it seems to be the case that if someone gets hurt, they immediately look for revenge. In Acts 16, Paul and Silas were put in prison, and there was a miraculous earthquake that broke all of the chains and gave them the opportunity to escape. The prison warden also saw this, and he knew that if his prisoners escaped, he would be put to death, so he was ready to kill himself.
Act 16:28 But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here.
Act 16:29 Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas,
Act 16:30 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?
I imagine that Paul and Silas probably knew that the warden would be put to death if the prisoners escaped, and if they were looking for revenge, this was a perfect opportunity. The warden would have paid for it, and they would be free without having to commit the act of revenge themselves.
However, they did not. Even though they had the opportunity, they remained in prison, and the warden was so impressed that he immediately asked them what he had to do to be saved. An opportunity came around because there was no revenge taken.
Bringing this to our lives then, we are faced with choices all the time. We have the opportunity to take revenge or hurt people in all kinds of ways every day. It isn’t always revenge, but when we do have these opportunities and do actually end up hurting someone else, the opportunity for a positive witness is gone. There is another family of people in heaven today because no revenge was taken in this situation where I think many people would be happy to let the warden pay for it.