My Happy Sappy Life, Real Faith, Real Parenting, Real Relationships

Casting Stones

A part of real life is that people fail. They make mistakes.  Clutch the pearls, they let us down.  It’s what people do!  As Christians, we judge each other’s sins, holding them up against the measuring stick of our own standards or what we would “never do.”  Non-Christians judge Christians based on their ideas of what Christians should or shouldn’t do. But the bottom line is we are all sinners in need of God’s grace.  Simply stated, the difference between a Christian and a non-Christian basically is the Christian’s admission of that fact.

The Bible says that we were all born in sin and shaped in iniquity (defined as wickedness or immorality).  It’s human nature to lie, want what we can’t or shouldn’t have, lust, etc., and sometimes even though we may not outright sin, we make just plain old bad choices.  None of us is exempt from that.  The truth is, though, that no sin is greater than another in God’s eyes.  It’s the CONSEQUENCES that differ in degrees of severity.  We see the more visible sins and, because we are able to see them, we judge them more harshly than we do those hidden or “smaller” evils that are just as harmful to us as any other.    But in the end, it all looks, smells and sounds the same to God and He is the Judge of us all.  That’s His job, among other things.  And what is ours?  To love.  To DRAW those that don’t know Him with the love that drew us and that makes them want to know the God that enables and empowers us to do so.  To do anything else turns people off and away from God and makes us stumbling blocks.  Another of our jobs is to pray, as we recognize the invisible source of the evil forces that we are fighting against that compel us all to do the things we do that are not pleasing to God.

Sadly, the perception of many people about Believers is that we are extremely judgmental because that’s what we’ve shown them. The longer that we are Believers, those of us that pursue active, growing relationships with God tend to surround ourselves with people and environments that encourage our beliefs and values.  The life of sin that we once lived becomes a distant memory and we start to forget how comfortable we were at one time living that life. Then we see others living their lives in one way or another and we start to turn our noses up at them.  It’s like being a former smoker.  As long as they engaged in the habit, they weren’t aware of the constant lingering smell of smoke that non-smokers could always smell when around them.  Then, if that smoker stops the habit for a period of time and is at some point around another smoker,  does he or she all of a sudden have the right to judge the other person for something that never bothered him or her before? There are a lot of ways the now non-smoker could help to “ease” the smoker in the right direction:  education, previous bad experiences or current issues he or she could share that resulted from them smoking in the past.  But you don’t judge them.  THAT, my friend, is throwing stones!  And that is something that Jesus, our Lord, our Saviour, and who should be our greatest example, DID NOT DO. When He met sinners, He spoke the truth to them in love, met their physical needs, whether it was healing or a meal, and then He opened the door to the way out of whatever it was that they needed to be free from.  We all need to be reminded of our tendency to sin, in whatever individual ways it shows up in us.  Keeping our eyes on Jesus and our hearts open and honest before Him should be enough to soften our stance when it comes to showing mercy to others because the closer we get to Him, the more we should be reminded of how much we need Him to do  or to be anything good.  Measuring God’s holiness against our sinful, imperfect selves will at any given time expose some bad habit, tendency or thought that shows just how short we fall to being like Jesus.  So I challenge everyone, like Jesus did the religious hypocrites that brought the adulterous woman to him, tattling on her and trying to dig up a reason to point a finger at Jesus, if you are sinless, throw the first stone at whomever YOU are tattling on or judging in your heart.  I’ll GIVE you the stone! Just make sure before you throw it that you duck from all the glass that shatters in the “house” that you’re living in…

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