Who’s Watching?

And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailor to keep them safely: Who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks.  And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.

Acts 16:24-26

In this account of Paul and Silas being beaten and imprisoned, we immediately see the fact that they used it all as an opportunity to pray and to sing praises to the Lord.  In doing these things, they gave us an example to follow when we find ourselves in any difficult situation.  But as I was reading this passage, one other little phrase stood out to me.  It seems to have almost been included as an afterthought, but it is a powerful statement at the end of verse 26: “…and the prisoners heard them.”

Paul and Silas were not the only ones in this prison.  There were others with them.  When they saw that Paul and Silas had been beaten and were being thrown in with them, they no doubt wondered how these Christians would react to this brutal treatment.  When they started singing and praising the Lord, “the prisoners heard them.”  Paul and Silas might not have felt like singing and praising the Lord, but they did it anyway.  And they were right to do it.  Their testimony was a powerful witness to these other prisoners.

We never know who is watching us.  We never know who looks at us to see how we will react to different situations.  We probably have no idea how much influence we can and do have.  When we think about these things, I hope that it will help us to remember to praise the Lord and be thankful to Him even when we aren’t “on the mountaintop.”  We never know who’s watching us.

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