Passing on Second Chances
“And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you will be blind and unable to see the sun for a time.” Immediately mist and darkness fell upon him, and he went about seeking people to lead him by the hand.
— Acts 13:11
Paul persecuted and opposed Christians until God struck him blind for three days when He encountered Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:1-16). Later, Paul encountered Bar-Jesus, a magician and false prophet, who twisted God’s Word. Paul could have requested the life of this false prophet, who was full of deceit and villainy but instead Paul told Bar-Jesus that he would be temporarily blind.
Paul had been in this same position himself, and he showed compassion giving Bar-Jesus the same opportunity to repent and be restored. Paul didn’t proclaim death or give Bar-Jesus a permanent consequence. He gave him the gift of time while interrupting his ability to continue on his sinful path.
Paul understood unbelief and transformation. He changed after his encounter with God and became passionate about sharing his faith in Christ. Because of his own experience, Paul had compassion for those antagonistic toward the Gospel. Paul learned a great deal from his sightless days and used that experience to encourage the hope of change.
Our past mistakes and God’s amazing grace should give us compassion for others. By doing this, we reflect the love of God and His offer of second chances.
Today’s One Thing
Identify one way you can show compassion toward an antagonistic unbeliever. Show that grace and love today.