Since the beginning of time mankind has pointed the finger at others in order to keep the finger from being pointed at themselves. One of the classic biblical accounts is when Jesus steps in to protect a woman who has been caught in the act of adultery. John 8: 3-11 (What I want to know is, where is the fellow she was with? And why weren’t the men who were preparing to stone her worried about him?) Just like the men in the account, we are so quick to pick up a stone to hurl at those caught in the act of any type of social faux pox. What I’d like to do today, is take a moment to turn it around. To look in the mirror at the one who is or is getting ready to hurl the verbal stones.
Three different scenarios come to mind when I think of stone casting. First, a person caught in adultery. When one partner decides to give into the temptation, there are multiple victims – the partner who has been betrayed, the children who reap the consequences, and the person who gave in to the temptation. The partner is violated; the children are torn between which parent to remain loyal to; and even the person who gave in, must live with the consequences of being labeled forever with a scandalous ‘A.’ I could go on for paragraphs but the bottom line is we are all sinners. In this type of situation, there is rarely a partner without any blame. I am not condoning the affair, but we all need to take responsibility for our own relational deficiencies.
Second, an alcoholic or drug addict struggling to get clean. Something within their chemical makeup, environmental history, and current circumstances have brought them to where they are today. Someone once told me they couldn’t believe a friend of theirs was drinking to numb themselves of their current situation. I thought to myself, ‘man, if I was in her friends situation, I’d be drinking too!’ We often joke about this, but the reason for the joke is the reality. We have no idea what a person is going through until we’ve walked a mile in their shoes. If you are fortunate enough to have avoided a particular addiction, or have kicked an addiction than please extend a little grace to those around you who are still in the process.
Third, those who live a homosexual lifestyle and are berated by Christians. No where in the Bible does it say homosexuality is the unpardonable sin. As a matter of fact, the only sin that is unpardonable is rejecting the Spirit of God. (Matthew 12:31) Neither is one type of sexual sin more evil in God’s eyes than another. Sin is sin to God and may I suggest we take a moment to look at our own lives before picking up a stone to launch it at someone next to us. If we really believe God when He says that sin is sin, do I want to be treated like I am treating that person? Remember, the verse is do to others as you would have them do to you, NOT, do to others as they have done to you. (Matthew 7:12)
As we gather with our kith and kin this upcoming weekend, let me suggest that we take a breath, take a moment to look into the mirror and reflect on our shortcomings, leave our stones out in the yard where they belong, and offer grace to all.