I was reading in Acts about the stoning of Stephen, and I came to a realization concerning the incident. Right before he “fell asleep”, he cried out to the Lord asking Him to “not hold this in against them [his murderers].” Acts 7:60a Does this ring a bell? “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Luke 23:34a Jesus said those words as he was hanging on the Cross, dying in innocence.
Many times we use the phrase, “What would Jesus do?” It has become trendy and millions of bracelets have been sold donning the acronym “W.W.J.D.” on them. When we think of this phrase, what comes to mind? Let me throw some common struggles/dilemmas out there to ya:
How should I treat people? W.W.J.D.?
Should I watch that movie? W.W.J.D.?
Should I use that word? W.W.J.D?
These are all certainly situations in which to ask that question. But they are kind of first world dilemmas. What if we were in Stephen’s position? What if we were being martyred for Christ? To put it more in the context of current events… what if we were being beheaded for our faith? How would we react?
Would we, too, ask that God not hold our enemies’ sins against them after they killed us? Honestly, that is a hard thing to consider. I mean, I see the way we tear into each other over trivial, worldly opinions on social media and wonder if we could conduct ourselves with love and grace in our darkest, last moments?
Let’s try to remember Stephen when we go through our trivial day-to-day “trials” and interactions. If Stephen could live out “W.W.J.D.” until his very last breath, we certainly can do better when dealing with our general, day-to-day issues… right, Christians?