Reflection on Acts 6:8-15
Stephen was a strong supporter of God. His faith was amazing. Yet others saw him as a threat. So instead of listening to Stephen’s words of faith and love, they tore down his words to make him look like evil. They twisted Stephen’s words. They taunted his belief. Stephen stood strong.
Can you imagine how Stephen felt? His goal was to touch every life he could with the words of Christ. Yet every time he spoke the words of faith – some people would take his words and twist them for their own good. Stephen never really received the recognition while on earth that his work was good. I am sure a few of his good friends recognized the value of his work, but my guess is even those who witnessed his murder may never realize the potential of the man they killed.
I cannot help but equate this situation with politics. Each time elections come around, I start to think of my dad. My dad was a kind, sweet man who wanted to do good for a city. He spent decades giving his time to a city that he loved dearly. He loved God and felt a calling to serve. Yet, some people chose to twist his words and his deeds to make him look like evil. These people still spend countless hours now doing the very same thing. It is hurtful, yet somewhere God has a plan in it all. People may never know the true value of my dad, but I do. I know and miss him greatly. I also know that he received his accolades that he was due when he rose up to heaven.
So many of us are blinded by what looks good, but truly isn’t. So how can we weed through the bad to find the good?
First, we must make ourselves close to God. We have to find God in our hearts. We have to make time for him everyday. We must find a way to converse with him on a daily basis. If we are not right with God, then we certainly cannot find the truth in others.
Second, we need to sift through the words that others say. Is it something that Jesus would say? What would Jesus think of this scenario? Why are we putting down a person’s deeds or words? What would Jesus think of these words or deeds? What has this person done in the past to show us his/her love of Jesus? Do they practice what they preach? How do they treat others?
Stephen was a good, faithful man. Yet some people chose to tear him down. Stephen stood strong. He didn’t defend himself, he just kept preaching the truth. He didn’t waste time trying to make people believe who he was – he knew humility was and is a virtue. Why waste time talking about himself when he could talk about the truth? Stephen was a good example to all of us – he stands for those who are persecuted wrongly. He speaks the truth still today.
Stephen shows us that standing up for the truth is not easy. In fact, you may not receive any accolades for it here on earth. You may feel persecuted. You may feel stepped on. You may feel betrayed. God is worth it. God knows the truth. So let’s all make a promise to find a way to come closer to God. Let’s find a way to sift through the worldly responses before we take a step away from God. Let’s find a way to truth without crushing the spirit of good people.