How It Used to Be, OR, People Are Just Being People, Sadly

By: Steve Negley

Posted: May 2, 2016

Category: Daily Devotional

There is so much great devotional material in Acts chapter 6 — the appointing of the first Deacons for the church, the whole start of the story of Stephen, etc. (I hope some of the other church staff members key in on those verses.) I just have a hard time getting beyond the less than flattering description of the early church that we find in the first two verses:

Now during those days, when the disciples were increasing in number, the Hellenists complained against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution of food. And the twelve called together the whole community of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should neglect the word of God in order to wait on tables.” Acts 6:1-2

The early followers had been promised power when the Holy Spirit had come upon them. The church was growing as the people shared the good news of what God had done for them in Jesus Christ. Great things were beginning to happen, and then came the bickering. If we try and romanticize the early church, this little commentary in Acts 6 tells it like it sadly was (and can be.) One faction, the Hellenists, complained against another group, the Hebrews, about who was getting what in the daily distribution of food. But that’s not how it was supposed to go. The church, as the body of Christ, was not to be divided. And the work of the church was intended to focus on praise rather than petty problems.

Fast forward to today. Am I helping the church of Jesus Christ spread the good news? Would the mission I am involved in be described as building up the kingdom of God or bickering? Here’s another day available to form my answer to those questions.


God, You have given me lips that can be used for glorifying You or spreading gossip. You have given me hands that can slap another or serve you. You have given me this wonderful life in Christ, help me to live it to Your honor today. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.