The First Stone

John 8:1-11

 but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.

At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group 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, “Let any one of you who is without sin 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. 10 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.”

Yesterday morning in my devotions, I read John 8:1-11. As you can read above, it basically talks about judging and condemning those who have sinned. Now clearly, the woman in this situation had sinned. We’ve all sinned. All of the people that were condemning her had sinned.

Too easily, we as Christians- and as people in general- look at a person’s choices, ideas, and actions and judge them for it. We may never say anything about it, but silently, we think to ourselves, “I would never make that decision. I would never do what he did.” We condemn them in our minds, and choose not to be around them. Even worse, we sometimes talk about them and gossip about them to other friends behind the person’s back. We talk through their decisions, picking them apart until there is nothing left. We take on a “Holier-than-thou” attitude, looking at their sins as much much worse than ours. They are not a worse person than we are. We are all equal. We are all sinners. We are all messed up people who do messed up things. We make decisions based on our experiences, and what we believe is the right course of action. Those decisions might be sinful, and they might not be good, but we made them because we see life a certain way and see that decision as the right thing for that situation.

Because of Jesus, ALL of our sins are taken away. All the punishment is gone. We are all made clean by Him. So why should we judge others for their sins? It isn’t any of our business- that is between them and God. And we have all sinned as well. We have all done bad things in our lives. We’ve all messed up. We’ve all had to ask God for forgiveness. Who are we to judge someone else, and their heart?

God is the only one who can judge. He is the only perfect, sinless one. Jesus had every right to throw that first stone in the Bible passage. He was sinless. We are all going to be judged eventually, by the only one who truly can judge. And that is going to be the only judgement that matters. So why do we waste our time pointlessly judging others? It does nothing but hurt them. Because trust me, if you talk about someone behind their back, it WILL eventually make it to them, one way or another.

Now does this mean that we should never distance ourselves from people because of the decisions they make? Not at all. If someone is making continual bad decisions and doesn’t care at all, that is someone to distance yourself from. If they are influencing you to make wrong decisions and do bad things, they are probably someone that you should re-evaluate your friendship with. But should you distance yourself from somebody because they seem to act a certain way? No. I think that you should truly get to know them and their character before you judge them right off the bat.

I am as guilty of judging others as anyone. I have looked at someone, and the way they dress or act, and I will judge them for it. I don’t know them, or their background, and I judge what I perceive them to be. And I usually end up regretting it.

I’ve gossiped and talked about others behind their back before- and definitely regretted it. Someone always gets hurt because of it, and you’ll usually end up hurt in some way too.

This was a pretty long post but hopefully worth it! I kinda rambled a little bit, just putting my thoughts on everything down. They aren’t perfect thoughts, and I might not have expressed them very well, but I tried. If you have anything to add, please tell me! I’d love to hear from you! You can DM me on Instagram, comment on Instagram, or comment on here!

I hope everyone is having a wonderful start to their week, and is enjoying the wonderful weather!

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