Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Getting Stoned

Stoned. What a way to die. The 8th chapter of the Gospel according to John tells the story of a woman caught in adultery, who was dragged in front of the Temple where Jesus was teaching by the religious fanatics of the day. The scribes and Pharisees knew the law, and were self righteous enough to know how to keep the law. Not unlike many Christians of today, and certainly not unlike my self-righteous attitudes at times, they dragged her in front of Jesus to justify their self-righteousness. The bible uses the term “tested” him, or pierazo (Greek) which literally means, “…to explore, test, try, assay, examine, prove, attempt, or tempt. The word describes the testing of the believer’s loyalty, strength, opinions, disposition, condition, faith, patience, or character. Pierazo determines which way one is going and what one is made out of.” (Strong’s #3985)
So they tested him. Why? Were they truly seeking the truth, or looking for an answer from Jesus? No, they were also looking to justify their own self-righteousness.

Don’t we have the same attitude sometimes? We know the law, or we have an idea about what the scripture says concerning _______(fill in the blank – the way someone dresses, gossip, adultery, cussing, tattoos, etc., etc., etc.). We all of a sudden become self righteous and decide to judge. We justify our judgment with scripture, all the while forgetting our own sinful state. Instead of wanting to restore someone in sin, we look for a rock to throw it at them. We want judgment for others while expecting mercy for ourselves.

This past weekend Linda and I led another Rachel’s Vineyard Retreat for 4 women. Rachel’s Vineyard is a weekend retreat for those seeking spiritual and emotional healing from a past abortion. It is a time for those seeking healing to deal with the sin, receive and give forgiveness and restoration, and give dignity and honor to the child or children they lost to abortion. This weekend 8 babies were named, memorialized, and given dignity in a resurrection service.

One of the exercises involved carrying a stone (representing an area of unforgiveness or needed healing) until we could release it, as the Lord led. I carried my stone less than 24 hours before Linda and I both threw them in the lake. In addition to ministering to the ladies, we received some healing in our marriage. Carrying the stone and then letting it go was an act of giving up our right to have been offended and actually forgiving that person we held that offense against. It was a powerful reminder to let go of our self-righteous attitudes.

Got a stone you want to throw? If you’re sinless, go ahead and cast it. As for me, I’ll just leave it on the ground.
See also:
[The Abortion Recovery Process and God's Grace]

[More on Recovery]

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