Today’s devotional was written by Pastor Vance Rains.
Acts 6:1: “About that time, while the number of disciples continued to increase, a complaint arose.”
Whelp, that didn’t take long, did it?
When I was a campus minister, I recall a very sincere student asking, “Why can’t the Church, today, be more like the Church of the New Testament?”, meaning, “Why is the Church so divided? Why can’t we just love Jesus and all get along?” To which I responded, “I suspect the Church today and the Church of the New Testament look a whole lot more alike than you realize.”
In the midst of a great, mighty move of the Spirit, a season of incredible miracles, and new converts to faith in Jesus increasing every day, there was also conflict. As food was distributed to those in need, the Aramaic-speaking disciples were accused of overlooking the needs of the Greek-speaking widows.
Have you ever noticed how quickly, when we’re displeased or dissatisfied, we seem to need to blame or scapegoat someone? Rather than simply expressing our concerns, we look for someone to accuse. The issue was hungry widows, and an insufficient system for distributing food fairly. But, their frustrations led to finger-pointing.
After thirty-plus years of ministry, in varied positions and styles of ministry across Florida, I’ve concluded Church-going Christians are particularly prone to this kind of behavior.
What they needed was a new plan, not character assassination! Accusation only led to division, requiring a creative, Spirit-led solution to move forward: selecting seven “deacons” who were, “well-respected and endowed by the Spirit with exceptional wisdom.”
Let’s be honest: it’s easier to blame others for our displeasure than it is to take responsibility, seek God’s direction, and discern/implement a new plan. Every time we point the finger at someone, we forget the three-fingers we are pointing at ourselves! But, Spirit-filled followers of the Risen Jesus are called to be creative, grace-giving, forgiving, peacemaking and bridge-building.
Who are you blaming for your frustrations and disappointments? Why?
What creative solution has the Spirit wisely entrusted to you?
Please leave your comments, thoughts and questions.