Slightly Obsessed #026 "Stonethrower" (Wednesday Devo) by Pamela Thorson on 2013-03-20 13:58:07
He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.
The man was a new believer in Christ. He sat in the Sunday morning service fairly brimming over. He couldn’t wait until the time in the Sunday service when the pastor asked for people to share what God had done for them. The minister finally opened the floor to the congregation. The new Christian enthusiastically shared his good news.
“I have smoked all of my adult life. I recently asked God to take away my desire to smoke, and He has. I’ve not had a cigarette since that moment.”
As the man spoke, the pastor’s face twisted in distaste. He thrust a pudgy finger at the man and said, “You took up that disgusting habit by yourself, and you can get rid of it by yourself!”
Whack. The verbal stone struck the man dead on. He sat in embarrassed silence through the rest of the service.
The new believer was my father. In the decades since this incident, he never did smoke another cigarette, and to this day he gives the glory to God. But he never knew why his words irritated the minister so much.
I wonder, too. I shouldn’t, because I find myself throwing large and small stones at people many times for no better reason than that they have beliefs contrary to mine or because they just generally irritate me. I catch myself casually criticizing others who dress differently, act differently, or engage in behavior I find unappealing. In some cases, I’m the one who has been wronged.
None of it, however, justifies a stoning. Just because my “stones” are words and attitudes instead of basalt doesn’t mitigate the damage I inflict on others.
When the scribes and Pharisees brought the woman caught in adultery to Jesus, they weren’t interested in justice. They wanted to use the Law to justify themselves. The One who had the right to accuse both her and them did neither. Instead, without a word, he allowed the Holy Spirit convict them of their sins. Then He let them walk away, adulteress and Pharisee alike, from the death they deserved.
It’s so easy to see the faults of others. It’s more convenient than ever to notice and point out the failings of those around us. We’ve become a nation of busybodies and judges. Scribes and Pharisees in jeans. Lobbing stones in self-righteous fervor and entering our houses justified.
It escapes our notice that Jesus is nowhere to be found at the stoning. He’s busy elsewhere, dispensing grace to a needy world. He already knows it’s an undeserving planet. No one has to tell Him that.
About Pamela Thorson:
Pamela Thorson is a licensed practical nurse, author, and full-time caregiver. She pioneered in the homeschooling movement from 1982-2006 and authored her first book, Song in the Night, in 2008. She resides in the Northwest with her family.
Slightly Obsessed #192: Heaven Is Calling: Consider Jesus
Some days we can barely hear it. Other days it drives us to our knees. But it’s always there; that persistent tug in our souls. Whether we trudge through our days or chase the stars of fame and fortune, we can’t drown out the cry that sounds silently in the pit of our being, jarring us with its urgency and moving us with its tears.
No matter what you may be going through in life, I want you to know that God's grace is sufficient for you. You may have messed up, you may have failed, you may have gone the wrong direction, you may have gossiped, or much worse, but God wants you to know that it does not define who you are. He does. He and His grace is much more powerful than anything you might have said or done. Grace always shocks. It always amazes, and it always stuns. Grace is what we all need. It's what everyone groping around lost in the darkness needs to know.
Slightly Obsessed #191: You Can Give Others the Gift of Courage
My father lay propped up in the hospital bed, his face ashen against the white sheets. My step-mother and I huddled around him in the cramped space of the progressive care unit in which he was recuperating. He had suffered three heart attacks in the space of one month. None of us had gotten much sleep in the last few days. So far, we had seen little of either the hospitalist in charge of his care or the cardiologist on staff.
Slightly Obsessed #190: A Warbird’s Lesson
On a recent hot July day, we took in an air show in our town. Vintage planes, including a couple of impressive old warbirds, sat majestically on the tarmac for inspection as we darted from wing to wing to find relief from the withering heat.
These planes are still operable, so although some of them were open for people to walk through, the cockpits were off-limits for obvious reasons. No one wanted a tragedy to happen because an unauthorized person tampered with the controls. People who don’t know what they’re doing shouldn’t be in control.
Slightly Obsessed #189: The Calling
The sound must have been a maddening echo that haunted him at first, tormented by the rooster’s crow that mocked his empty proclamation of loyalty. For three days, his faith lay in the grave with the Savior’s body, darkened by the memory of his public desertion.
Slightly Obsessed #188: Freedom
He was shouting “Freedom” as he plowed his car at twenty-one miles an hour into the granite monument engraved with the Ten Commandments.
A video posted on the suspect’s Facebook page depicted the man in his car facing the monument as a women’s voice, presumably on a car radio, asked, “Where do you go when you’re faced with adversity and trials and challenges?”
Release Date: July 28, 2017 Reviewer: Andrew Funderburk Rating: 4 stars
MUSIC VIDEO NF - Outro
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