How to win friends – or not.

11 06 2011

Just so you don’t think I’ve bottled out with Job, the next part of the story is coming in July.  I know, if only we could postpone bits of life…

So on to an altogether different era – the second volume of Luke’s writing, the book of Acts, in the New Testament section of the Bible.  Luke is the only one of the four gospel writers who gives us a sequel, who follows the disciples as they live the Jesus story into the next generation. 

My reading starts in chapter 6 just after Luke tells of the dramatic increase in the number of disciples, with a man called Stephen.

~

 In the 1930s Dale Carnegie published his self-help book How to win friends and influence people.  (Like all such books, you can take a good idea too far!)

I wonder if Stephen would have behaved differently if he’d had Carnegie’s wisdom to help him.  (Incidentally, Carnegie changed the spelling of his name from ‘Carnagey’ in a marketing move to align himself with the revered Andrew Carnegie.)

Stephen was not a man to be trifled with.  He did not go in for compromise or strategic PR moves.  He was straight-talking, fearless in debate, so that, “None of them could stand against the wisdom and the Spirit with which Stephen spoke.”  (Acts 6:10)

Stephen’s listeners couldn’t handle the challenge and began to make false allegations against him.  How would the Jewish high council deal with him?  Would Stephen be eloquent enough to have the charges quashed?  Would he win friends and influence people?

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