My First Response (6/11/13)

Read: 1Kings 8:1-66, Acts 7:51-8:13, Psalm 129:1-8, Proverbs 17:1

 He fell to his knees, shouting, “Lord, don’t charge them with this sin!” And with that, he died. (Acts 7:60)


Relate: I’m not one to hold grudges. I don’t get mad easily. I try not to, but what I do, is get even. I have a way with words and too often my verbal wit has been misused to give a cruel response or a snide remark to someone who has upset me. I believe that by God’s grace He is helping me become better with this, but I’m not there yet. I’m not yet nearly at the place Stephen was at the moment of His death. That’s dangerously sad because God might have used my forgiveness as a tool to create a modern Paul but instead, I had an all too human, evil, need for revenge.

I’ve never been stoned (I’ve never been attacked by men throwing rocks at me to the point of death, either), but I do remember dropping a huge boulder on my foot once. I was about to throw it and it slipped from my hands and went straight down. Took off my big toenail. I did drop to my knees and I did, eventually, ask God to forgive the the thrower of the stone but that was because of a few choice words in between the falling to my knees that necessitated my need for forgiveness. Stephen went right from the former to the latter with nothing in between.

React: I heard of a speaker who said, “If you have a barrel full of water and I started shaking it, what’s gonna come out?” Obviously he was answered, “water.” The speaker then asked, “If we claim to have the Spirit of God living inside of us, then what should be coming out when the world starts to shake us up?” When I’m getting kicked around, what comes out? Stephen was full of love, so when the rocks started flying, forgiveness spilled out. What am I full of? What is my first response in unpleasant situations?


God, let my first and only response be You. When life shakes me up, let Your love, Your forgiveness, Your grace be what flows out of me. Fill me up so that there is no room for anything else. I want more of You to the point I am spilling it out into the world around me.

12 thoughts on “My First Response (6/11/13)

  1. Pingback: First Response (6/11/13) | Universal Theology

  2. I especially liked your “react” segment…good stuff! I know I don’t get a chance to see all of your posts but I am always blessed when I do get the chance. Blessings.

  3. The tough thing for all of us is that we live in a culture where revenge is often looked at as if it were justice. We are told that we are to respond in kind to be taken seriously. “In your face” type of responses are much more celebrated than “in my heart” type of responses. In your writing you are trying to bring about first in you and also in others the world Christ wants where get love is much more prevelent then get even.

  4. Indeed BJ.

    A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart.(Luke 6:45)

    Thank you for this reminder. God bless you for your instructive and convicting posts.

  5. I have a saying. “A trial is not a trial unless it is a trial.” There have been times in my life that I thought I had it so together that I could react like… say Stephen in a trying experience. I learned that such was not the case. All I needed was the right “trial” to prove it. Nowadays, when I get to feeling confident I get nervous. There are so many unimagined trials out there, all of which could slosh out the polluted water within my being. Anymore I understand, or try to understand, that only by God’s grace will pure water slosh out, and it will be his water, not mine, when it does.

  6. Matthew 5:38-39
    38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39 But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.” Much easier said than done. He is strongest when we are weak…and yet we struggle to allow weakness…..great post!

  7. “If you have a barrel full of water and I started shaking it, what’s gonna come out?” Obviously he was answered, “water.” I have an angry son. I used this illustration with him – only we used a waitress carrying glasses of orange juice!

    Great story. I think the tongue is the last thing to get sanctified (of course it’s only the wick that siphons what is in our hearts, bringing it to the surface). Ah me, I have such a long way to go!


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