This Proposal Pleased the Whole Group.Acts 6:5a
In Acts, there was one group, the Hellenistic Jews, whose widows weren’t being taken care of as much as the Hebrew Jews. This imbalance of care threated to boil over into a major issue. The twelve disciples suggested appointing seven people to take on the oversight of care for this underserved group.
And everybody thought that was great. At least that’s what the scripture tells us.
I’m apt to believe there was still some grumbling behind the scenes. “Who gets to choose the seven?” “Why aren’t the disciples caring about us themselves?” “Now the Hellenistic Jews are getting more attention than the Hebrew Jews!”
That sounds more likely, don’t you think? I say this as a life-long consensus builder. It’s taken me a good 52 years to discover that, no matter how hard I might try, I can’t please everybody. It’s a real challenge to agree with anybody on everything, let alone when it’s an angry group of people with differences of opinions.
I wonder. In the Kingdom of God, do people disagree? Are their pro-lifers and pro-choicers in heaven? (I know some pro-lifers and pro-choicers who would probably say ‘no’.) That’s an extreme example of how we disagree on things, but what about people who can’t agree on the color of the carpet in the sanctuary? Do the tan people and the red people reconcile in the great beyond?
I don’t know, but I’m convinced it’s an ongoing problem for us humans. God gave us the ability to have our own opinions, and this is the result.
The best we can do? We can follow Paul’s advice:
In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ JesusPhilippians 2:5
Pleasing “the whole group” may seem like a long shot when you’re mired in the details. If faithful people can try to look at the issues through the mind of Christ, we might have better luck. Or not. We might still disagree on little and big things. But at the very least, we will be striving to be Kingdom-centered instead of self-centered.
And, you know, as I look back over my life thus far, I can recall an occasion or two when a divided group, filled with the Spirit, rose as one voice and surprised the heck out of everybody by buying in to the same proposal. I suppose it can happen.
For the rest of the time, we can only hope to make wise, informed decisions, and to continue caring for the folks who are disgruntled. The more we listen to each other, the more we learn.
Hey–you may be Pro Life or you may be Pro Choice, but when it comes to tackling our divisions through Christ’s eyes…
May we all become Pros.
Have a great week,
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