Episode ThemeIdolatry-Discerning: Choosing role models carefully.
"Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called..."
Has God ever asked you to be kind to a bully? If that’s really hard for you to do, you should meet Ananias!
Ananias was a Christian living in Damascus soon after Jesus’ resurrection. In Jerusalem, a huge bully was prowling the streets, looking for Christians to persecute. Who was this nasty anti-Christian? His name was Saul, and he HATED everything to do with Christians. One day Saul got permission to travel to Damascus to hunt for Christians there, arrest them, and bring them back to Jerusalem to be jailed.
Poor Ananias. He must have been nervous when he heard the news that Saul was approaching Damascus. He must have been shocked when God said, “Ananias, Saul is in Damascus. Go to the house where he is. He has lost his sight, and you are to go and restore his sight.” (Acts 9: 11-12)
Whoa! Did God really just tell Ananias to help Saul? Ananias replied, “Ummm, LORD, I have heard reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your saints in Jerusalem. He has come here to arrest all who call on your name.” (Acts 9: 13-14) God repeated his command to Ananias: go help Saul.
Ananias had a choice to make: should he follow God’s command and actually help Saul or should he hide from Saul? Ananias wisely chose to trust God and to obey God’s command. As he put his hand on Saul, Ananias said, “Saul, Jesus has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 13: 17)
What about you? The next time the Holy Spirit whispers to you to be kind to a bully, remember Ananias. He was scared, but he helped the bully. God is way bigger than any bully, and he likes to transform bullies, but what God loves most of all is…..when we trust and obey Him, even when he tells us to be kind to a mean person!