But Paul said to the officers: “They beat us publicly without a trial, even though we are Roman citizens, and threw us into prison. And now do they want to get rid of us quietly? No! Let them come themselves and escort us out.” Acts 16:37
Paul wasn’t a passive guy! It seems the authorities thought Paul would go quietly. Often people think that because we are Christians we ought to go quietly, that is, not get upset or make a fuss and put up with any kind of mistreatment. Sometimes this is even portrayed as the right Christian response since we are called to be forgiving and gracious. Paul obviously didn’t think this way. God didn’t mean for Christians to be doormats to be walked over by others.
There are times and places when it’s appropriate to appease. Earlier we read this, “Paul wanted to take him (Timothy) along on the journey, so he circumcised him because of the Jews who lived in that area, for they all knew that his father was a Greek” (verse 3). In this instance, Paul was willing to do something he believed completely unnecessary in order to appease the Jews.
Paul doesn’t always confront and neither does he always appease. There are times and places when it is right to speak up and other times when it is right to hold your peace. For this reason, having a list of rules doesn’t work because there are too many different situations and rules could never cover them all. This is why God wants us to “walk in the Spirit,” so we will know by inward conviction when God is asking us to speak up and when he is asking us to keep the peace.Acts