Monday, May 7, 2007

Throwing Stones From Glass Houses

During a conversation with one of our members yesterday, it was shared with me that someone in the family said some very unkind things about them in a very public way. Naturally, it is not unusual for any of us to suffer these kinds of things, but that fact does not diminish the pain caused by it. In fact, when the character assassination comes from within the body, it can greatly exacerbate the impact of the blow to one's spirit, confidence and emotional well being.

We all grew up with the phrase, "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me." Perhaps words will not harm us physically, but they most certainly can and do harm."

This put me in mind of a passage of scripture found in John 8:1-11. You will recognize it as recounting the time when the scribes and Pharisees brought to Jesus, a woman caught in the very act of adultery. It is from this passage that I will lift a few thoughts as it relates to the overall subject of the things we at times feel the need to say about and do to one another.

Vs 3: A group of men brought to Jesus, a woman caught in the very act of adultery.

  1. Don't go looking to catch your brother or sister in a fault. If you find them in a fault, you should be about restoring them (Gal 6:1)
  2. Watch the company that you keep. These men were obviously conspiring with one another to put Jesus in a "no win" situation and using this woman as ammunition against him. "...Keep not company with the wicked for there shall be no reward to the evil man..." (Prov 24:19, 20)

Vs 4: They sat her in the midst (of all present) and reported their findings

  1. Is this the way YOU would want to be treated if someone found YOU in a potentially compromising situation, guilty or not? "Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them..." (Matt 7:12)
  2. There is a way to confront a brother or a sister with whom you have a concern or conflict. It begins with speaking to them and them alone (Matt 18:15-17)

Vs 5 & 6: They quoted the bible and tried to put Jesus to the test

  1. Be sure you are on solid biblical footing. According to the Law, the scribes and Pharisees were going about it all the wrong way (Deut 22:22-29)
  2. Attempting to shine the light on other's perceived wrong doing or shortcomings can illuminate your own and subject you to the same judgement you are employing (Matt 7:1-5)

Vs 7-9: "He that is without sin..."

  1. Note that Christ did not speak of adultery, but of sin universal. We know that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God (Rom 3:23)
  2. Sin is sin (Jam 2:10, 11)

Vs 10,11: "Neither do I condemn thee..."

  1. Throwing someone else under the bus can get YOU thrown under the bus (Gal 5:15)
  2. Forgiveness is available for the accused and the accuser alike. Just be sure to stick around for it (1 Jn 1:7)

My beloved, there is an enemy who is dedicated to destroying us. Let it never be said among Christ's people that we are acting as the agent of the enemy and participating in this attempted destruction. We are about "building up the saints," not tearing them down.

Let us love one another. It is by this that we are known as disciples of Jesus.

May the great God of Heaven grant you every spiritual blessing.

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