Sometimes They Throw Stones Anyway

StonesWe read Acts 6 in Bible study last week–the first part of the story of Stephen who was stoned to death for sharing the Gospel. When opposition first arises against Stephen, there’s this wonderful verse, “But they could not stand up against the wisdom the Spirit gave him as he spoke.”

It’s early in the story–doesn’t it sound like Stephen is going to win? The bad guys can’t stand up to the wisdom of the Spirit in Stephen. Yeah! And then he delivers this amazing speech totally calling the Sanhedrin out. Now that’s the Spirit at work!

Stephen follows God. He not only preaches but also performs great wonders and signs AND he stands up to the bad guys. I mean, this is the point where we hear triumphant music, the hero grabs the girl, and we roll to credits. Except, the Sanhedrin run Stephen out and stone him to death.

Um, what? That is SO not how I would have written it.

But I think that’s the thing about working for God. “Winning” looks different with him. Winning sometimes looks a lot like dying.

This story tells me I need to be careful how I measure success. Especially as I approach the time when people will share what they think about my novel. The Sanhedrin will likely accuse me. And even if I answer them well, they may throw stones anyway.

It will almost certainly hurt. But like Stephen, I have to keep my eyes on Jesus even if I feel like I’m dying.

Acts 7:55 – “But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.”

6 thoughts on “Sometimes They Throw Stones Anyway

  1. Hard to take that view, when we do want to be liked on some level, esp. as authors–we want our stories to be liked and appreciated. But very true. It seems often direct opposition comes when I’m right on the brink of following God into uncharted territory. Times like that, I remember the many examples God gave us in the Bible of others who were attacked, even when they’d done nothing wrong. And I try to remember to count it as gain, not loss.

  2. When reason, genuine discussion, respect for the other person and even respect for our right to have opposing views fail – just stone them to death. Seems there is a lot of that going on today just like in the time of Stephen. I wonder how many of us are willing to be as loyal to our beliefs as Stephen was. One of the lyric lines from the contemporary song, “Crucified With Christ”, by Phillips, Craig, and Dean is “to die is truly gain” – I also wonder how many of us actually embrace that. But, as long as one of us who do believe that is still standing there is hope. Keep up the good work. Well, done, my friend. Well done!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s