casting stones

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The recent plethora of articles about Josh Duggar has made me think. A lot. Everyone has an opinion on it and I am not about to delve into the ‘he said, she said’ of it all. To me I think this whole ‘kaboom’ just points to a deeper issue, one that has been on my heart for a while. We LOVE to preach the love and grace of God but do we show it?? It seems like fingers, judgment, criticism and, honestly, hatred come pouring out of us at times like these. I have been so convicted of this in my own life and now this latest scandal has just made it even more of a reality for me. Honestly, it breaks my heart. We say a lot of good things but do we really mean them. Are the evident when things like this come up?

While I do not condone sin, I do believe that we as the body of Christ should extend forgiveness and love the same way our Savior does.  I shudder to think what would be found if someone were to closely examine my life 10 years ago, or even my life RIGHT NOW. I fail God and the ones dearest to me every single day. What would my life look like blasted all over America’s headlines?

As a Christian, I believe that we are SINNERS saved by {grace}. ***NOT BY BEING GOOD OR WELL BEHAVED***.  I know God extends forgiveness so readily when I sin. He forgets it as soon as I repent of it. When He looks at me, it’s like when He’s looking at Jesus.  And yet, I so often withhold forgiveness and love until I think someone has ‘paid/suffered’ enough?? I know this is due to the fact that I don’t see my sin for what it is. Because I haven’t murdered anyone, I think I’m pretty good. My hatred (sin of the mind) doesn’t seem as bad as actually killing someone (physical sin) and yet God says those two sins are the EXACT SAME in His eyes. Sin has no ‘size’ limit. If we are behaving in a manner contrary to God’s teaching, that’s sin. So if it’s glaring at someone who butts ahead of me in line at Walmart or molesting someone, if it’s nursing a bad attitude or actively seeking revenge– each of those sins break God’s heart. The act of the person who wrongs me is just  as bad as my un-Godly response to it. In light of the new mercies I receive every single morning, I have no right to hang on to the sin of someone else be it against me or against someone else, intentional or unintentional.

I am up against a HOLY God. You are up against a HOLY God. Let’s help each other, not criticize and throw stones at each other. I believe that at times we must deal with sin in each others lives but I believe in order to do that we have to be so extremely aware of our own sin and the forgiveness and grace WE receive from God so that we for sure do it out of great humility and love. Jesus is not just waiting to write me off because I mess up. He’s just waiting to forgive me when I sin. If the being that is the very definition of Holy is ready and willing to forgive and forget, who am I to make you pay?

I am so convicted as I write this. So extremely convicted. Throughout my life I have been so willing and ready to throw stones. Honestly, I’ve been just waiting for you to mess up and when you do I make sure you pay for your sin, be it against me or against God.  Oh, God, forgive me. That is the deeper issue I see in this ‘kaboom’.  I have been more than willing to {receive} grace and forgiveness but extremely unwilling to extend it to others.

“Oh, oh, God, forgive us”

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