Friday, June 01, 2018

"Don't Make Fact-Finding Harder than It Needs to Be"

Acts 21.34 NAS

“The Commander… could not find out the facts because of the uproar”.

High emotion and an argumentative spirit, mixed with strong opinions and uncontrolled passion, serve to cloud the facts and overshadow the truth. Paul’s arrival in Jerusalem after his third missionary journey created a stir. Jealous “Jews from Asia” (Acts 21.27) incited the Temple crowd with lies about the apostle. The Bible says, “Then all the city was provoked.” Due process was discarded and the frenzied mob rushed upon Paul. They drug him from the Temple intending to beat him to death.

The author of the book of Acts records that “all of Jerusalem was in confusion” (see Acts 21.31). The local military Commander, whose authority included oversight of a thousand troops, temporarily disbursed the crowd and apprehended Paul in the midst of his beating. His attempt to gather an explanation from the unruly throng was futile:

“...the commander could not get at the truth because of the uproar.”
Acts 21.34 NIV

I tend to turn emotional at the early sound of difficult issues arising in the natural course of life... concerns around kids and family, money, schedules, business, etc. Mostly, I can’t be bothered with the unpleasant details arising from my less than perfect world. I’m tempted to treat them like intrusions and occasionally react negatively without thoughtful consideration. When my spirit is in an “uproar” it becomes difficult to “find out the facts” or “get at the truth.” I am inspired by godly men and women whose stabilizing demeanor calms even the roughest sea of controversy. These kind of people make fact-finding easy. They empower themselves to take appropriate and intelligent action. They control their spirit and, armed with the facts, rise to the top of any crowd. They are true leaders and faithful truth-seekers.

“He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty,
And he who rules his spirit, than he who captures a city.”
Proverbs 16.32 NAS


The lake images are called "Blue" and "Virihaure (Sweden)" by German photographer, Peter Block, who kindly gave me permission to use them here. You can view his work at In Peter's words: "Virihaure is a lake in northern Sweden. It was a wonderful day and the lake was as smooth as glass. The guy in the boat is one of the natives living in a really small village nearby." These photographs speak to me of calmness of spirit, clear thinking, and self-control.


Bob West said...

I hope you enjoy my blog as much as I have yours. Very interesting.
I am now a follower.
God Bless, Bob

Dave Scriven said...

Thanks, Bob.