Thursday, November 21, 2013

stones

"roll away your stone, I'll roll away mine.
together we can see what we will find.
don't leave me alone at this time,
for I'm afraid of what I will discover inside
"
-mumford and sons, roll away your stone

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I'm often far too interested in people watching. I oft think I should have taken more psychology and sociology classes while I was in school. People really interest me. I love getting to know people, seeing what they get fired up about, what makes them tick, what makes them bleed.

In recent years, I've been especially aware of what myself and close Christian friends get ticked off about. It seems this transition from teen-somethings to twenty-somethings involves a lot of awareness of what ticks us off. We abhor oppression of the destitute, inequality, dehumanization, lack of care or self control... well, I could go on.

Recently there was a story that made the rounds about a pastor who stiffed their waitress of their tip, (please click here to read the full story) saying on her receipt, "I give God 10%. Why do you get 18?"

Yes, this is an outrage.
Yes, she is wrong (well, unless you have the perspective of Steve Buscemi's character from Reservoir Dogs... don't click on that link if you can't handle colorful language).
Yes, she is defaming the name of Christ and His followers.
Yes, she should be reprimanded by those who hold her accountable.

But here's the problem I have... especially with the internet age of instant gratification -
We often feel we can quickly slap a certain label on someone just by reading an article about them and their crappy decision. This happens all the time. I'm guilty of it too. I've quickly put a label on Mark Driscoll, John Piper, Pat Robertson and so many more based off of something they said to masses. And it's not right, I'll be the first to remind myself of that.

Can you imagine being in this woman's shoes this week? Receiving hate mail from all over the world from Christians and non-Christians alike? Probably receiving death threats from people who never knew she existed a week ago? She probably will not be able to get away with/from this horrible moment for the rest of her life.

Is that grace?

No, that my friends is exactly what the Enemy wants.

He wants division. He wants Christians attacking their fellow Christians. He wants us all making hasty judgements about an individual we've never met. He wants us calling her names. He wants us to all be holding stones ready to toss at her.

But what did Jesus say?

"Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her." [john 8]

 Our stones are easily quickly hurled at someone we see doing wrong.

But we need to carefully look at those stones and see them for what they really are - our most disgusting sins.

The rocks that seperate us from God but make us equal to the rest of humanity.

We all have them. We're no better than anyone else. None of our rocks are any bigger or smaller than the person next to us. We all have piles of them.


But we need to make sure to make the effort every day to see the person and not the stones, and definitely to not hurl our stones (or pick up someone else's) at anyone.


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.”



Go now, leave your rocks at the feet of Jesus.



[disclaimer: this is not to say that 1st Corinthians 5:12&13 are inapplicable; yes, we are to judge those inside the Church and hold them to the standard of Christ.... but I strongly believe we are to do that only with those who we have a strong relationship with, and obviously only when acting out of love]

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