“Now when they heard these things they were enraged, and they ground their teeth at him.”
Stephen was speaking the Word of the Lord to the high priests and they didn’t like it. Maybe they were feeling convicted or maybe they just thought he was blaspheming, but either way, they were enraged.
When people tell us things that we don’t want to hear our immediate response is to stop up our ears and harden our hearts to them. Many times we don’t even realize we are doing it, but we just let subconscious anger fester inside of us and every time we are around the person who spoke the truth to us that anger grows and grows. Before we know it our hearts are hardened and bitterness has overtaken us.
A few years ago I turned from the Lord and thought nothing of it, but I knew the change of heart would be apparent to my family so I became a master impostor. I thought I was doing pretty good until one night I was driving home from church with my brother and he looked at me and put his hand on my shoulder and said, “Liv, I love you, but you’ve backslidden.” My entire life my brother had been my best friend, but when those words left his lips I hated him. I hated that he noticed, I hated that he cared, and I hated that he confronted me. It wasn’t any of his business whether or not I had a good relationship with God and it wasn’t his place to convict me. Now, looking back I am thankful that he realized, as my older brother and best friend, it was his place to step in and force me to examine my life because it did impact me.
Although I didn’t go and stone my brother, I, to an extent, can understand what these high priests were feeling. I was enraged and I ground my teeth at my Collin, just as they did to Stephen.
Even now I have a hard time when someone tells me something that's hard to hear and this verse really made me realize that I need to be working on my own heart. I will be striving to listen to and adhere to what people and the Lord tells me.