Friday, February 2, 2007

Cut to the Heart

"When they heard these things they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed at him with their teeth..." Acts 7:54

Stephen, being attacked by those wanting to stir the people against Jesus' disciples, begins to provide a thorough history as proof to the authencity of Jesus and also as evidence for their folly in rejecting the truth. Though he rightfully shows the parallel of the Israelites' hard-heartedness to these men, the effect, though on their heart, does not urge them to repentence.

The men hear Stephen's accusation, but instead of turning from their ways, they allow their anger and pride to override the guilt that they feel. They translate those feelings into hate and revenge, instead of allowing the feelings to manifest into humility. They turn against Stephen, and end up killing him.

When we are wrong, we cannot get defensive. The embarrassment we experience must be fermented into humility rather than covered with anger. Being "cut to the heart" is painful, but God wants us to repent and grow.

Dear God,

Help me to know when I am wrong, especially if I am not representing You as best as I can. Lead me to repentence and humility as a result of my carelessness or selfishness, and dismantle my pride from growing into something destructive.

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