The Chameleon

October 29th, 2007 • Category: Book of Acts
by Melody Merida

Today’s scripture: Acts 12:1-5 (NRSV) (The Message)

As you read, consider: What might God be saying to me? Summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two.

My thoughts (Melody Merida):

Did you happen to catch the chameleon in this short passage from Acts?

His name is King Herod Agrippa, grandson of Herod the Great. Herod Agrippa was the poster child for the statement, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” He was known to be the yes-man for the Romans when in Rome, and the yes-man for the Jewish leaders when in Jerusalem. He was much more interested in doing what would make those around him happy so that he could gain their favor and financial support, than in doing the right thing. He arrested Peter because he saw how much the death of James pleased the Jewish people, not because he had a legitimate legal reason.

Many times we can be chameleons too. We know the right thing to do, but because of this group of friends or that family member, we choose to make decisions based upon what we think will gain the favor of those around us. God tells us in this passage that disastrous things can happen when we allow ourselves to be swayed by popular opinion rather than standing firm in our faith. Granted, it may not lead to someone being accused and arrested; but it could lead to someone turning away from Jesus. I don’t know about you, that seems to be a far worse outcome to me.

While it is sometimes difficult to plant ourselves firmly, we must learn that when we do, we are given incredible opportunities to share Jesus. I don’t want to ruin the next passage from Acts, but you can get a glimpse of what is about to happen from verse 5. At the end of the verse we read, “The church was earnestly praying to God for him (Peter)”.

This is where it starts to get really exciting. The people of the church of Jerusalem knew what it was to stand firmly in the face of unpopularity. God was able to use them mightily because they, unlike Herod Agrippa, stood firmly on their faith.

Thought and prayer for the day: Am I a chameleon or are my feet planted firmly in my faith? God, teach us to be consistent and genuine with everyone we meet so that we may bring glory to your name.

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.

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