Herd Poisoning

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I remember in college hearing for the first time the term ‘herd poisoning’. The big idea was that as people we tend to not think very well for themselves when in big crowds. We do things that we otherwise wouldn’t do or approve. I think about the BLM riots, arson, and looting. In the first century it happened as well. As the gospel was spreading, some didn’t like how the truth of the gospel was causing people to turn away from idols to the living and true God. Led by one person, the craftsmen organized and caused crowds to gather and ‘poisoned’ them to almost riot. But, a sensible man, a city council member who remains unknown today, spoke sense into the crowd and avoided violence. Thank God for reasonable people like that. We sure could use more, especially in the realm of social media and news commentary and within the leadership of the so-called justice movement.

After quieting the crowd, the town clerk said, “Men of Ephesus, what person is there after all who does not know that the city of the Ephesians is guardian of the temple of the great Artemis and of the image which fell down from the sky?  So, since these are undeniable facts, you ought to keep calm and to do nothing rash. For you have brought these men here who are neither temple robbers nor blasphemers of our goddess.  So then, if Demetrius and the craftsmen who are with him have a complaint against anyone, the courts are in session and proconsuls are available; have them bring charges against one another. But if you want anything beyond this, it shall be settled in the lawful assembly. For indeed, we are in danger of being accused of a riot in connection with today’s events, since there is no real reason for it, and in this connection we will be unable to account for this disorderly gathering.” After saying this he dismissed the assembly. Acts 19:36-41 NASB

What has God done in my life to impart wisdom and a sense of reason? Am I one who calms a crowd or stirs dissention and trouble?

God, as this day begins- I look forward to what is ahead. May I be a contributor of truth and love in every setting. Would you prepare every conversation and opportunity to reach out and love people in Jesus name? Help me be someone who quells an unruly crowd by loving people one at a time. I thank You for Jesus’ example of what it means to be a peacemaker. What a high calling in today’s contentious world.

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