Complaints and Challenges (Acts 6)

Now in these days when the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint by the Hellenists[a] arose against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution. Acts 6:1

 12 And they stirred up the people and the elders and the scribes, and they came upon him and seized him and brought him before the council. Acts 6:12

Someone once said, “When it starts, it is hard to stop.”  This comment was made concerning complaints and challenges.  It seems that when a group begins to complain and to challenge, all momentum in lost.

Question:  “Is this true in your life, your work, your home, and yes, your church?”

In Acts 6 we read of both complaints and challenges.  The complaint came from within the church and the challenge came against the church.

First, the complaint: As the church grew, the amount of ministry also grew.  The church struggled with leadership in the ministry side.  It seemed as if the Apostles were about to be taken away from what was of most importance in their work.  But instead of getting bent out of shape over the complaint, they came up with the solution.  Out of the complaint came the awesome ministry of the first Deacons!!!

Second, the challenge: One of the deacons stood out about the others.  His name Stephen.  He was full of the Spirit and wisdom.  The challenge came from those who did not want the gospel to spread.  In these verses we are reminded of how we are to respond to challenges to our faith.  The challengers were of no match to the man of God.

Brothers and sisters, when you and I field complaints and when we face challenges, we must respond.  The response is critical.  But the way we respond is just as much critical as well.

In both cases, the people of God responded in Godly wisdom.  The challenge for this day is clear:

  • We must resist the challenge to respond with fleshly emotion and wisdom.
  • We must resolve to seek the wisdom of God.
  • We must stick with the wisdom given by God.

Here is how the writer of Proverbs gives us counsel:

 Get wisdom; get insight;
    do not forget, and do not turn away from the words of my mouth.
Do not forsake her, and she will keep you;
    love her, and she will guard you.
The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom,
    and whatever you get, get insight.
Prize her highly, and she will exalt you;
    she will honor you if you embrace her.
She will place on your head a graceful garland;
    she will bestow on you a beautiful crown.” Proverbs 4:5-9

Keep hold of instruction; do not let go;
    guard her, for she is your life. Proverbs 4:13

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