Although Felix had been freaked out by Paul’s discussion of God’s coming judgment, he nevertheless, continued to call Paul in to chat. Why?
He was hoping that Paul would offer him a bribe. (26)
One wonders what kind of subtle hints he gave Paul.
“It sure must be tough being restrained as you are. You’re so gung-ho for your religion. Wouldn’t it be great if you could just get out of here so you could spread it more easily? Your God would want that, right?”
“Your church must be really worried about you huh? Say, how big is this movement? What kind of resources do they have? I’m sure they’d do anything to help you, right?”
Paul wasn’t dumb. He knew what Felix wanted. But he refused to violate his integrity. For two years this went on until finally, Felix was replaced by another man named Festus.
It would have been so easy for Paul to take the easy way out and give Felix the bribe he wanted. And there were so many “good reasons” he could have given for doing so. But he refused. Why?
One, he loved his Lord. And he put his trust in God that in his timing and his way, God would set him free…or not. Either way, he refused to do anything that would displease his Lord.
Second, it would have destroyed his witness before Felix. Think about this. He had just been lecturing Felix about righteousness, self-control, and the coming judgment for sinners. What would have Felix thought if Paul had suddenly turned around and offered a bribe? Felix would have thought, “There must be nothing to what Paul said. If there was, he wouldn’t have offered me this bribe. He’d be too worried about this coming ‘judgment.'”
But Paul never compromised and his testimony stood.
How about you? Do you hold on to your integrity even though it may seem more convenient not to?
Hold on to it. Keep putting your trust in God, knowing that he would never ask you to do something that he has said is wrong. Commit yourself to doing things his way.
To do otherwise would not only sadden God, but destroy your witness with those you’ve been sharing Christ with.
Are you holding on to your integrity?