ASSESS THE SITUATION FIRST

Tuesday: May 19, 2020

Reference: Acts 16:22-34

Acts 16:27 And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled.

Just like how the human body responds to a new infection or one to which it has been exposed to before, we may also have observed that unless an experience is a hundred percent new to our brain, we seem to automatically respond in certain ways to particular scenarios we encounter. It is almost as though our mind draws on existing experiences and existing information to initiate our response.

Thus, in instances when others do not react the ‘familiar’ way we know or in the same manner we are used to seeing, we get taken aback questioning if there is an ulterior motive. We have become so used to associating specific outcomes with particular events that anything other than that is considered rather ‘unusual’.

Now, let’s take a closer look at the jailer in today’s text. Following an earthquake and a subsequent opening of all the prison doors, he expected the obvious: ‘prisoners who are not chained and walled will surely have fled’. That was what his experience as a prison guard had thought him, it was his expectation and that influenced his response. However, in this situation, he had a different crop of prisoners who stayed put yet he attempted to take his own life.

Beloved, here is our message today:
before you conclude solely on the basis of past experiences, assess the current situation one more time. Before you act hastily, listen to one more person, wait one more day. For all you know, the plans remain unchanged and the doors of opportunity are still open. Simply put, everything might still be as it should be. So before any hasty decisions, carefully assess the situation one more time.

#sly

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