Fickle People

And when the people saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices, saying in the speech of Lycaonia, The gods are come down to us in the likeness of men.  And they called Barnabas, Jupiter; and Paul, Mercurius, because he was the chief speaker.

And with these sayings scarce restrained they the people, that they had not done sacrifice unto them.  And there came thither certain Jews from Antioch and Iconium, who persuaded the people, and, having stoned Paul, drew him out of the city, supposing he had been dead.

Acts 14:11-12, 18-19

Proverbs 24:21b tells us to “meddle not with them that are given to change.”  James 1:8 says that “A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.”  These verses do not say that we should never change anything or never change our mind.  Sometimes, we need to change our mind about things that are not right.  And something there is a better way to do something.  But I do think that there is a warning in these verses, as well as in this story from the life of Paul, about being fickle and dealing with fickle people.

The definition of “fickle” is “changing frequently, especially loyalties.”  Those are people we need to look out for and people we do not want to be.

These men in Acts were ready to worship Paul in verses 11 and 12.  They said that he and Barnabas were “gods.”  They brought in oxen to sacrifice to them.  Paul had to quickly talk them out of that notion!  But just a few verses later, we find some Jews coming in and “persuading the people.”  The people turned on Paul within one verse.  In one verse, they were trying to sacrifice to him, and in the next verse, we find them stoning him, dragging him out of the city and leaving him for dead.

We need to guard against this “I love _______.  Wait, now I hate ______.”  attitude in our lives.  We need to guard against being fickle!

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