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 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, “If any of you is without sin, let him 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. 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.” John 8:2-11
In today’s world, we may no longer literally stone a person to death, but there are equally damaging ways to hurt and ruin a person. Hurtful words, spiteful actions, being judgmental, looking down on others and gossiping are just naming a few among many of today’s modern stones that are thrown about with such frequency and lack of hesitancy that it’s heartbreaking.
Even in the church, such actions can project an environment that is unappealing to unbelievers and drive a person away. Why would anyone want to subject themselves to an environment where they are sneered at for being homosexual, looked down upon for being a prostitute, rejected and judged for making a mistake? Have we become like the Pharisees so quick to pass judgment?
Jesus taught love and forgiveness. Imagine a world where people loved instead of hated, encouraged rather than breaking down, forgiving rather than judging, offering comfort instead of scorn. What a beautiful place that would be.
We ourselves may not be able to change the world as a whole, but we can make an impact on the people around us, at work or our family or in our community. A kind word or a thoughtful action can make a difference.