It seems like in this day and age we are so quick to fight for what we believe in. Don’t get me wrong, having passion and drive is not a bad thing… but if your opinions control you, you have lost.
Yesterday our church had the privilege of sitting at the feet of a great teacher. Mark Young is the President of Denver Seminary and he taught from the passage in John 8:1-11 about the adulterous women and it pricked my heart in a deep, deep place.
“He who is without sin, cast the first stone.”
That phrase is well known in and out of the church realm.
But the truth is if we are using intimidation and punishment as a way to control someone’s behavior we have missed the point. We can’t control someone with our anger, opinions, and condemnation… all those feelings just end up controlling us.
We are all mere humans.
We are all a hot mess.
It is not our job to condemn the sin/life/choices of another.
Jesus (who was sinless) did not condemn the woman, so who am I to condemn the liar? murderer? terrorist? homosexual?
Jesus taught that the two most important things we are called to do are love God and love others.
It’s that simple… We are called to do nothing more than love God and love people.
Even though it is so very simple, we over complicate it every day.
By golly, there are entire political campaigns that are being fueled primarily on their stance of some sort of condemnation.
If we use Jesus as the perfect example we can determine that He was a lot less worried with the woman’s punishment than He was with her freedom.
Did you hear me?
Jesus was not concerned about the appropriate punishment for the sin… he was concerned with her salvation.
He wanted her heart, not her behavior.
He chose to love not chastise.
So in our relationship with our spouse, coworker, neighbor, friend, and children we need to demonstrate the love of God in effective ways.
Jesus never yelled, shamed, attacked, or embarrassed anyone. So neither should we.
He never used fear or an external threat as a tactic. That is not how the Kingdom of Heaven works.
He had self-control, grace, and mercy.
He was blameless and He still didn’t throw the stone.
Choices, mistakes, failures, and differences of opinion are not the enemy.
The enemy is the bondage it puts everyone in.
Instead of condemning… let’s empower people to find freedom and walk boldly in it.
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