In those days when the number of disciples was increasing, the Hellenistic Jews among them complained against the Hebraic Jews because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food. So the Twelve gathered all the disciples together and said, “It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables. Brothers and sisters, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word.” (Acts 6:1-4)
Prejudice reared its ugly head in the early church. The Hellenistic Jews complained the Hebraic Jews were prejudice against them. A language barrier existed; the Hellenistic Jews spoke Greek as their first language, and the native Hebraic Jews spoke Aramaic. Even though it was the desire of the early church to take care of their needy equally, prejudice prevented it.
Because of problems in the church, the need arose to appoint elders and deacons. These men needed two qualifications: 1) to be filled with the Holy Spirit and 2) to be filled with wisdom. The wisdom and power of the Holy Spirit are necessary to deal with prejudice. Its victims are sensitive from years of abuse, and the inflictors may or may not realize they are prejudice or the harm of their actions. It was natural for the Hebraic Jews and us to want to give more resources to family and friends. In addition, Hebraic Jews were raised in a culture where temple leaders gave favor to those with more money.
Filled with wisdom and the Holy Spirit, the brother of our Lord taught: “Believers in…Jesus must not show favoritism. If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes…have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? You have dishonored the poor. If you keep the royal law, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself,’ you are doing right.
We are to love the poor and neighbors outside of our culture. Love covers all sin.
Father God, I praise you for the power and conviction of the Holy Spirit. Fill me with Your Spirit and wisdom. Convict me when I act unloving by being disrespectful or showing favoritism. Give me power to spread Your love to all, so I can give the glory to You. I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.
6 thoughts on “Daily Devotional Acts 6:1-4 – How can we overcome bias and prejudice? – Free Online Bible Study – Commentary in easy English – Day 491”
I think that we all want to do more for our family and friends that we love. I think that is a natural feeling and there is nothing wrong with that. However, we all need to make room in our hearts for everyone else. I do not think it is prejudice or favoritism to put your family first. I equate this to the government giving billions of dollars to other countries, while we have people living in the streets and millions are starving. In our country there are so many families and veterans that have no shelter and go to bed hungry at night. There are families that rely on the food from school to give there kids a hot meal. We all need to be philanthropic in our effort to be better Christians.
We all put friends and family first, but God wants us to love our neighbors as ourselves. I’m not sure that God has borders. Do you think God cares more about the hungry in the United States than he does about the hungry in South America? People have more opportunity in the United States to receive welfare and/or work. I think many children go hungry because their parents spend money on drugs or other bad habits. We do need more housing for vets, although many vets also have drug addictions and most shelters don’t allow drug addicts for the safety and welfare of others there. Blue bloods had a great episode this week about a homeless vet. Did you watch it? Love you, Sis.
I think that God loves everyone equally. I was talking about our country getting the priorities correct.
I know. I was asking a question that sometimes I have difficulty dealing with. As a country I guess we should have a priority of feeding our own citizens first. My question is, “Does God think feeding Americans first is a larger priority than feeding South Americans first? The U.S. has programs in place so that no American should go hungry, but yet they do because money is spent on drugs. If we throw more money on Americans rather than other countries will it really help the problem. The reason I am against “no Borders” is to keep drugs out of the country, not good people.
Good info. Lucky me I reach on your website by accident, I bookmarked it.
Thanks for bookmarking my website and for your encouragement. I prayed for you today, and I hope you know how wide and long and high and deep God’s love is for you! Blessings, Jody