Friday, April 5, 2013

Throwing Rocks

It’s been said that many, if not all, of the Old Testament laws were written to reveal our own hearts and our need for a savior. I’ve come to believe that. I was watching a stoning scene in the series, “The Bible” recently. Seeing it visualized served to teach me the intention I believe stoning was meant to fulfill – to serve as a mirror of our own hearts.

You see, to pick up a rock and throw it at someone takes arrogance, nerve and mean-spiritedness that hides itself deep inside the human heart. It takes blindness to our own sins and complete focus on someone else’s to start with. Even more so, it takes intent to hurt someone that only a hard heart can follow through with. Think about it – the rock is being thrown with full intention of killing “the offender” due to an injustice that those throwing rocks were just as capable of.

I don’t know about you but I’ve learned that focusing on others or the wrongs that have been done to me always causes me to stumble because it takes the place of my focus on Christ. The ugliness in our hearts simply exists because sin can only thrive in the dark. Therefore, our focus on others becomes nothing more than a scapegoat for us since it changes the focus on someone else and allows us to feel better about the junk in our own trunks. We become more and more blinded, as we look at others, about what’s in us.

Oftentimes, I judge others so quickly and so harshly when I really don’t know what circumstances led them to what they’ve done or how they live. Subconsciously, I have this idea that the way I do things is right and I’ve earned the right through my decisions to be hard on others. Yes, it sounds a bit delusional but if you are honest I bet you can identify with it.

Of course none of these thoughts are at the forefront of my mind since they hide behind prettier, more reasonable thoughts, but they are the indeed the foundation on which my thought system has rested for so long. And I think that’s what Jesus Christ meant in the Bible when He referred to the concept of surrendering all. If we are going to be overcomers in Christ Jesus, we must surrender not only our lifestyle but also our thought system and be willing to search it for gaps repeatedly.

We have to be willing to ask ourselves the hard questions. We should ask ourselves things like:
  • Does this stuff I am doing, saying and living match up to the word of God?
  • Am I being a tool of grace for someone else?
  • Are my motives holy?
  • Am I judging others for something I, myself, do?
  • Am I really seeking the best interest of another person or am I seeking my own interests and glory?
  • Do my words serve as an ambassador of Christ, meaning do they show others the love of God?
  • Would the way I want to respond to this person bring them closer to God or push them away?
  • What would/did Jesus do in this situation?

As I search my own heart, I realize that I’ve denied others the grace and mercy that I so whole-heartedly desire, and that has been so freely given to me. As much as I hate to know these things are inside of me, I rest knowing that when God reveals something it’s because He wants to cleanse it.
We throw rocks every single day, as believers. They may not be real rocks that kill but they do hinder and they do hurt. And that’s not the testimony we are called to live out. I don't say these things to scold anyone but as a lesson I feel I've regrettedly learned the hard way. If we are going to say we take our faith seriously, we must examine ourselves consistently.

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