"Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye. Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them which shewed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers: Who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it. When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with their teeth. But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God. Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord, And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man's feet, whose name was Saul."
This is a very human response. No, we may not drag someone outside the city limits and stone him, but we don't like being confronted with our wrongs. And we are quick to defend our "non-existent" flaws...with our flaws.
"You're such a nagger."
"I am not. When do I nag? Just tell me that! When? I say. When? When have I ever nagged?"
The one accused of an alcohol problem responds with a drink. The one accused of being critical, retaliates with biting remarks. The one defending their holiness profanes the holy (the name of God, the Sabbath unto the Lord, the value of life). The woman blamed with gossip calls a friend to complain. The one accused of gluttony laughs it off and takes another bite of cake...Sound familiar? We do exactly what Stephen's accusers did. We become angry at the voice that points out the truth, we want to silence that voice, and we continue with the problem we say we don't have.
Why are we so offended by the truth? True truth was never designed to hurt. The ultimate goal of truth is healing. In the above examples, these are potential results: good communication, a sober lifestyle, kindness of speech, ensured trust, greater relationship with God and others, better health... and for Stephen's attackers, salvation and relationship with God Almighty. Facing the truth says there's nothing to lose.
Tip/Tidbit: Let's listen for the voice of truth. What problem area needs to be confronted and ADMITTED to today? What might be the positive outcome of facing the truth?