Dealing With Problems
Daily Bible Reading – Numbers 3,4; Acts 25
Today’s Key Passage – Acts 25:1-22
Festus took over for Felix as the Roman governor of Judea, and he had a problem. Just three days into his position, he found out that he had a man named Paul in his prison who had been there for two years. He also found out that the Jewish leaders wanted this man dead. Festus was the new guy in town. He was new to his position and the last thing he wanted to do was ruffle any feathers in the very beginning of his term in office, but the problem was not going to go away. Something had to be done about Paul and about the Jews who wanted him dead. He called them all together to hear the charges, and by his own later admission to Agrippa, he was baffled. He told Agrippa that when he convened the court and allowed Paul’s accusers to speak, “they did not charge him with any of the crimes I had expected. Instead, they had some points of dispute with him about their own religion and about a dead man named Jesus who Paul claimed was alive. I was at a loss how to investigate such matters”. Since Festus did not know what to do, he first wanted to send Paul back to Jerusalem, but Paul refused to go because he was a Roman citizen. Therefore, Festus agreed to send Paul on to Caesar to have his case heard. Ultimately, Festus simply did not know how to deal with the problem of Paul and therefore wanted to let someone else take care of it.
How often in our lives does the temptation come for us to do the same thing? As problems arise for us, we often do not know exactly how to handle them and we can easily be tempted not deal with them at all. When we see a non-believer who does not know the Way, we can be tempted to “bury our heads in the sand” and not talk to them about Christ because it might be uncomfortable. When we see a fellow believer sinning, we can be tempted to “bury our heads in the sand” and not confront them on their sins because we want to maintain the peace. Just like Festus, we can be tempted to try to send others on their way to allow someone else to deal with the problem, but none of this is biblical. Being a follower of Christ does not afford us the opportunity to “bury our heads in the sand”. Jesus was very specific when He told us how to deal with problems, and regardless of the situation we are called to deal with problems head on. Having an argument with your spouse? Deal with the problem head on and have a discussion with her. Feeling slighted by a friend? Deal with the problem head on and explain to him how you feel. See a brother or sister in Christ sinning? Deal with the problem head on and go to him or her to point out the sin in a loving way.
So why is all of this important? Why are we not to “bury our heads in the sand” and not deal with the problems that come up in life? Often the answer to that lies in the aftermath. If you see a non-believer and fail to talk to them about salvation, you are essentially condemning them to eternal separation from God. If you see a fellow Christian sinning and do not say anything, you are not showing them the love of Christ and in effect are actually “hating” them. If you are having an argument with your spouse and you do not try to work it out, seeds of anger and hostility are sown in your heart toward her. If you feel slighted by your friend and you do not explain how you feel, seeds of animosity are sown in your heart toward him. Eventually, these seeds will grow, fester, and become a much bigger problem in your relationships. While it might be uncomfortable for us in the short term, the long-term benefits to our relationships of dealing with problems head on are huge. Do not be like Festus. Do not look for ways to avoid dealing with issues when they arise. Deal with them constructively and with love and watch your relationships with others and with God grow beyond your wildest dreams.
During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you? Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.
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May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.
Posted on February 18, 2015, in 05 - Acts and tagged Bible, Christian, Conflict, Daily Bible, Daily Devotional, Evangelism, God, Godly Living, Jesus, Religion, Repentance, Service, Sin, Temptation. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.