We are continuing an Acts. We’re going to skip most of chapter 7 primarily because chapter 7 is is an argument between the temple authorities and Steven, one of the new disciples who was appointed at the end of chapter 6. They go into a lot of detail and go over the history of the Old Testament. It is good material!
Today's scripture: Acts: 7:51-8:1
This is an ancient version of don’t shoot the messenger. The temple authorities gave the early church a little bit of a leeway, a little bit of time to figure out who they are and what they were going to stand for as long as it was within the mainstream of the their tradition.
As soon as the church started to challenge the excepted traditions of the temple authorities, as soon as the early church and the other Christians started preaching things that were outside of what had been excepted as the right way to view God, the temple authorities got angry, upset and challenged. They reacted in the same way that they react with Jesus and the prophets.
The truth is the more right the prophets and the more correct their information the more upset the religious authorities got with the prophets, with Stephen, and with Jesus. The more that their power center was threatened and the more that their tradition was threatened, the more their comfort was threatened the more angry they got with the messenger.
When I’m wrong and I’m heading down the wrong path, the person who I get the most upset with is the person who calls me out. It's the person who says "you’re not going the right way, you’re not doing the right thing and you know it," that makes me crazy and angry. I get angry because of the truth of it. I get upset because I recognize they’re right. I was going out the wrong path and that makes me more angry than anything.
I wonder how many times in our lives we shut out the truth. We shut out the voice of wisdom saying to us, "You know you need to do something different". The voice says to us, "Maybe you’re not in the right space for this." I wonder what it would look like if instead of getting defensive and instead of getting angry or upset or digging in further and further and entrenching ourselves into our ditch, I wonder what our lives would look like if we could be open to hear the voice which suggests maybe we should try something different.