Read here: Acts 24:1-25:12
“I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”
– Nelson Mandela
I can’t help comparing Nelson Mandela with Paul. Quick summary, for those that don’t know…Nelson Mandela fought for equal rights in South Africa, and was imprisoned for 27 years for just trying to do the right thing. Incredibly, when he was finally released in 1990, he forgave those that imprisoned him, inviting his former jailers to dinner with him, and having lunch with the man who tried to have him killed.
A similar thing is happening to Paul here – the Jewish elders have branded him a troublemaker, and thrown him into prison, but they don’t really have any proof that he’s done anything wrong. Imagine how annoying that would be! To know you are innocent but still be held captive. I’m not sure how I would cope with that myself, but I know I wouldn’t be as calm and collected as Paul is. How is it possible that Paul is not filled with anger and hatred for those around him?
The answer must be because of his faith in Jesus. He knows that Jesus has a plan for him, and he is determined to see it through. If you think of all Paul has been through, it really is remarkable. Just goes to show that anything is possible with the help of God! Instead of anger, Paul is choosing hope, love and faith – just like Nelson Mandela!
Dear Jesus, please help me to let go of any anger and hatred I feel due to unfairness. Help me to be patient, kind and forgiving, even to people who have done me wrong. Amen.
Why not try to forgive someone who has done you wrong over the past week?