“And they went out of the prison, and entered into the house of Lydia: and when they had seen the brethren, they comforted them, and departed.” (Acts 16:40, AV)
There was a time when I managed a plant that printed shipping containers. The third shift operator had printed a lot of material that was off color. I looked at the data and was convinced that the shift lead operator did not inspect the print and fudged the quality checks. I accused him of doing so.
After he went home, the first shift operator and I worked together to fix the problem. However, after correcting the issue and personally approving the color, I returned about two hours later and looked at the printed samples and discovered that, once again, they were off color. After further investigation I found that the ink was faulty and this was not the problem of the operators.
I felt bad about the mix-up and realized that I had falsely accused the third shift operator. I can imagine that he did not sleep well that afternoon. So, as soon as possible I contacted him and personally apologized for my rush to judgment without having all the facts. Sometimes, wrongs are made right in this life.
In this passage, we see a wrong that was made right for Paul and Silas. The issue was that Paul and Silas were denied due process when they were beaten and jailed, in the incident with the slave girl. This incident occurred in a Roman province and under the law, Roman citizens were to have due process. This meant a proper trial before inflicting punishment. Paul indicated that they were Roman citizens. The magistrates or city officials knew that to break Roman law was a very serious issue and they needed to make things right. Thus, they make a formal apology to Paul and Silas before asking them to leave the city.
We have two things to consider here. One is that we as believers should always get our facts straight before making an accusation and if we make a false accusation, we must endeavor to make things right. In fact, whenever we err in our actions, we must seek to get things rectified, first with God and then with the person we wronged.
The other and most important point is this. The Bible teaches us that for believers, there is a day coming when every wrong shall be made right. On the day when we enter into the presence of God in heaven, the misdeeds done to us will be no longer felt. The false accusations, persecutions, abuses, injustices and such that we endure will no longer have any affect in our lives. The Scripture states it like this. “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away” (Revelation 21:4, AV). In some cases, we may see wrong made right in this life. Yet, rest assured, there is a glorious day coming when wrong shall be made right for every believer.