Today’s reading is Acts 6: 8-15
Sometimes folks will not like us. In doing the right things, we can get attacked. We can have harsh, or even untrue, things said about us. Today we see Stephen. Much like all the rest of the leaders in the early church, he is being faithful. He is doing what he is led to do. He is walking faithfully towards what it is that God is calling Him to do. But what happens. Folks attack. Folks even lie about him, his actions, his motivation, everything.
So, what do you do when someone attacks you? What do you do when someone lies about you? Do you hit back? That’s what our culture would tell us. Hit them back harder. That will teach them a lesson.
But that doesn’t seem to be the path of Jesus, at least to me. What would Jesus have us to do? What would He have us to do when we are attacked or slandered? I think based upon reading scripture and seeking after Him, it seems as though He would tell us to let our integrity speak for itself.
I think that’s why Jesus tells us to turn the other cheek. To respond like for like isn’t the way of the Gospel. That is the way of the world. Not this isn’t to say we will not have tools at our disposal, we will see next week that Stephen is no shrinking violet. We have the very power of God at our side. We are filled with the very Holy Spirit. We don’t have to be afraid or fear. We can trust.
But that battle belongs to God, not us. When they attack you. When they slander you. When they belittle you, don’t sink to their level. Respond with the grace that only God can give. God will see, God will act. God will respond. Let Him stand His ground. In that, we have nothing to fear.
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