by Elizabeth Brandt
Not For Sale
Author requests article critique
Not For Sale
Author requests article critique
Mistake is made
Which way to turn
Judged and battered
Bruised and torn
What got her here?
Can anybody tell?
Or will you just join
And throw stones as well?
Does anyone here
Know her heart?
Why she was weak?
Why she fell apart?
You’d rather assume
Make a judgment call
Any of you standing
Beware lest you fall
You expose others
Yet hidden you remain
How quick you forget
I see all sin the same…
Remember the Scriptures about the teachers of the law who threw a woman caught in the act of adultery at Jesus’ feet saying, “The Law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?” Jesus then stooped to the ground, writes in the sand, and tells them, “He without sin, cast the first stone.” The men walk away one by one. Jesus says to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one condemn you? Neither do I. Go and sin no more.” (John 8:1-12)
Many of us have read that passage and marvel at God’s mercy. We imagine ourselves in this broken woman’s shoes and the relief she must have felt having her life miraculously spared. We look at the “accusers” and are disgusted at how heartless they were, how devastating a public display of sin must have felt like, and feel a sense of thankfulness that “nowadays” is not like that anymore.
As I read these passages again, I found myself zooming in on the “accusers” once again, but in a totally different light. Could it be that we could fall into the same religious trap as these men? Sharing on public venues, text gossip, and calling to give “prayer requests” for one of our brothers or sisters in Christ who has fallen head face into sin? Merciless just like the Pharisees; parading around with a sole desire to make other’s wrongs known.
So is it really any different than it was that day in the temple yard? With the technology today, news travels fast. Within a day’s time a global gossip network has been formed, fully armed with stones in hand. Just like that… overnight – you become a leader of “sowing discord among the brethren” – leading others, many in whom you do not even know, into abomination.
“These six things the Lord hates, Yes, the seventh is an abomination to Him: A proud look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that are swift in running to evil, a false witness who speaks lies, and one who sows discord among brethren.” (Proverbs 6:16-19)
Jesus is saying the same thing to us, “Is any among you without sin? If not, then drop the stones. Stop mimicking the enemy of your soul, the accuser of the brethren. If you love Me, walk as I walked.” (Rev. 12:10, 1John 2:6)
As Christ followers, we are called to be like Him. The Christian life is about being transformed daily into His image, His likeness, His way of doing things. With that said, let’s look again at the opening passage of Scripture. “He without sin, cast the first stone.” Notice – Jesus, 100% sin free, yet you never see Him pick up a stone. He didn’t come to demolish what was already broken, but to restore it.
“If another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path.” (Gal. 6:1)
Lord, may our hearts break for the hurting, for their reconciliation to You. May we never use another’s brokenness as a sick form of entertainment that fuels our self-righteousness. You are not willing that any should perish but that all would come to repentance. We want that heart. We want a heart that is broken for the lost and for our fellow brethren who have entangled themselves in the affairs of another path.
We know that bad company corrupts good habits, so Lord, help us remove ourselves from those who choose to gossip and slander, from those who pull us away from doing Your will, from those who keep us flesh conscious rather than spirit conscious. We want to be promoters of unity not sowers of discord.
Forgive us for the damage we have caused others when we have not used our tongue to bring life.
(Rom. 1:29, 2 Peter 3:9, 2 Cor. 5:20, Prov. 20:19, 2 Thess. 3:11, 1 Cor. 15:33, Psalm 133:1, Prov. 6:14, Psalm 34:13, Prov. 18:21)
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So much truth in this piece.We all need to focus on ourselves as the accusers--because we all do it, more often than we'd like to admit. Thanks for this.
Elizabeth, "Sharing on public venues, text gossip, and calling to give “prayer requests” for one of our brothers or sisters in Christ who has fallen head face into sin? Merciless just like the Pharisees ..." once again, you captured it! I so love what you've done here, taken scriptures and turned them into living, breathing pictures for us in a contemporary world to see the true vision of the story of Christ. Your heart for God's Word and His people amazes me every day.