Everyone has a past. Many come to regret theirs in time. Some folks change over time because of their relationship with Jesus.
Anyway you want to slice it, we are all in the “everyone group.” We all live in a glass house. We are all sinners.
Now, who wants to pick up a rock?
This is basically the message that Jesus had for the folks ready to stone the woman. We are all sinners, and we all need forgiveness. You remember the story.
And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not. So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.
Sometimes we are like the woman. Accusers surround us. Sometimes we are guilty. Hopefully we aren’t.
When we are not like the woman in this story, we have an opportunity to be like her accusers or to be like Jesus. Who are we like then? Do we stand happy to throw a rock? Do we forgive?
When we do accuse, what should that look like?
Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses.
1 Timothy 5:19
Paul writes that when an elder is accused that there needs to be 2 or 3 witnesses to that thing of which he is accused. It was not to be “he said, she said.”
Think about what that would look like today if we held that standard for every accusation. It would certainly cut down on false accusations. It would eliminate a lot of what we hear in the news today as well.
Today’s challenge is to ask yourself if you are ready to forgive when someone does something to you. Then, ask yourself if you are ready to believe the worse when someone starts accusing. It’s easy to draw assumptions and get on the wrong side of an issue if you take pleasure in pointing fingers at someone. Before you judge someone guilty, remember how easy it is to be accused, and how hard it is to prove your innocence. Perhaps the standard of 2 or 3 witnesses would help you to determine those issues that you need to let ride when there is no evidence to support either side.