Sunday, March 13, 2011

Working the System

Acts 25:11 If then I am a wrongdoer and have committed anything for which I deserve to die, I do not seek to escape death. But if there is nothing to their charges against me, no one can give me up to them. I appeal to Caesar."

11 εἰ μὲν οὖν ἀδικῶ καὶ ἄξιον θανάτου πέπραχά τι, οὐ παραιτοῦμαι τὸ ἀποθανεῖν· εἰ δὲ οὐδέν ἐστιν ὧν οὗτοι κατηγοροῦσίν μου, οὐδείς με δύναται αὐτοῖς χαρίσασθαι· Καίσαρα ἐπικαλοῦμαι.

I admit that I am always looking for ways to work the system. It doesn't matter which specific system it is. I just want to squeeze out the most efficiency and benefit that I can. It may be a trip for work where I can find a way to do something else on the side. It may be something as simple as an errand where I realize that I can do something else besides what I originally meant to do. The point is that I always like to find a benefit, particularly when it does not cost me anything.

I believe that is what Paul was doing here. He wanted to go to Rome so he could preach the gospel there. He could have simply been acquitted of the false charges brought against him, but instead of doing that he worked the system of Roman law. As we'll see going forward, he had a very rough journey to Rome. He traveled as a prisoner and nearly died. But he realized that he could get Rome to pay for his passage to the city of Rome so that he could preach the gospel there.

The point of this is not so much about the value of working whatever system in which you happen to find yourself. The point is that we must be opportunistic about the gospel. Pay attention when you talk to people. Can you work the gospel in to the conversation in a non-forced way? Is there some way that you can get a platform to preach it? If so, take it. But you have to pay attention if you are going to seize these opportunities.

No comments: