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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

What I’m Reading Today: Acts 8:1-25

Lots of folks are quick to label things in the world as being either “good” or “bad”. They get fired from a job, for instance, and say that’s a “bad” thing; or they might have a relationship end and tell others in the days that follow that it was a bad “thing”.

If you step back in time, however, what initially might have seemed “bad” can turn out okay. For instance, when a person was fired from a job he or she happened to hate – it might have freed them up so that he or she finds a job that he or she now loves. That would be a “good” thing.

And while the person whose relationship ended might be initially overwhelmed with how “bad” their luck was – eventually the person might find him or herself in a healthier relationship than he or she ever dreamed possible. That would certainly be a “good” thing.

That’s the primary reason why I’m so slow to label things as being either “good” or “bad” – because I usually don’t have enough sense of perspective to do the labeling.

A good example of how things are always what they initially appear to be can be found in today’s passage from Acts. At the start of the passage, we are told that a “terrific” persecution of the church was set off by Stephen’s martyrdom. That sounds like a “bad” thing, right?

Not so fast.

The author(s) of Acts go on to immediately add – “Forced to leave their home base, the followers of Jesus all became missionaries.” In other words, that persecution led to an explosive expansion of the faith. Sounds pretty “good” to me.

Keeping this fickleness in our use of the labels “good” and “bad” in mind, today I would ask you: “Is there something in your life that has happened that you’ve labeled ‘bad’ that has gotten you stuck in a place of anger, bitterness, or resentment?” If so, take a moment and remember that with the passage of time (and the acquisition of perspective) you just might eventually come to see the matter differently.

Til next time…

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