Sunday, July 6, 2014

Throwing Stones

"The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the groups and said to Jesus, ‘Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?’ They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.
But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, ‘if any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.’ Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.
At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, ‘Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?’
‘No one, sir,’ she said.
‘Then neither do I condemn you,’ Jesus declared. ‘Go now and leave your life of sin.’"
-John 8:3-11 NIV

Everybody sins. We all make stupid mistakes. It’s a fact of life. In this story, we could all easily take the place of the woman, condemned and about to be punished for our crimes. But instead, let’s for a moment imagine ourselves as the teachers of the law; the ones doing the condemning. Let’s imagine ourselves holding rocks.
Every one of us has a rock representing some insecurity or fear. Mine was fear of being mocked or laughed at by my peers. We cannot seem to let go of these rocks, but it hurts to hold onto them, so instead we prepare to throw them. At others. At ourselves. We will do two things with our rocks: we will find someone else and throw our rocks at them in the form of condemnation in order to distract from our own wrongdoings, or we will turn and use our rocks to beat ourselves for the shame we can’t seem to be rid of. Either we feel so driven to cover up our own guilt that we gossip and tear down other girls who may be struggling just as much as we are, or we grow so disgusted with our own faults that we deem ourselves deserving of abuse and hurt ourselves mentally, emotionally, and sometimes even physically.
The struggle with rock throwing is that we are never offered an alternative by our world. There is a part of our culture today that tells us that this is normal; that it’s a part of growing up. With this mentality, our society actively condones these actions which bring nothing but hurt. My friends, this is not the way we were meant to be, and while it may be normal in our sinful world to throw rocks, that does not mean it is how we were intended to live. Does insulting another girl’s appearance truly make you feel better about your own? Does inflicting pain upon yourself really heal the pain in your heart? Not for long.
Rather than throw rocks, let us instead leave our rocks behind and recognize that when we identify with Jesus Christ, there is no need for this mudslinging. Only He can make you see your own worth independent of others, and only He can bring real healing, because in Him we are blameless and feel our sins no more.

So what about you? Do you want healing? Or are you just going to keep throwing rocks?

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