Becoming Wise

Acts 14: 11-13 “When the crowd saw what Paul had done, they shouted in the Lycaonian language, “The gods have come down to us in human form!” Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul they called Hermes because he was the chief speaker.  The priest of Zeus, whose temple was just outside the city, brought bulls and wreaths to the city gates because he and the crowd wanted to offer sacrifices to them.”

Our passage today comes from a time when Paul was in Lystra. He had just healed a man who could not walk, and the people of Lystra totally lost their cool. They believed Paul and Barnabas must be gods, and they started offering sacrifices to them. Naturally, Paul was distressed and had to work double time to calm them down and convince the people of Lystra that he was not, in fact, a god.

The next time Paul goes to Lystra, he takes Timothy with him. Timothy, unlike Paul, is culturally and ethnically Greek and understands the likely reactions that people will have to any of Paul’s actions. This means that Paul, with Timothy’s guidance and feedback, is able to preach the gospel in a clear way, rather than creating confuse and chaos.

In this way, we see Paul becoming wise – learning from his mistakes and making better choices in the future (the third type of becoming that we saw this past Sunday). This increase in wisdom enables Paul to more clearly hear God’s voice and to respond to his call. What sort of mistakes have you made recently that you can learn from to become wiser today?