Jesus’s intentions were always to redeem and not to reject – to convert and not to condemn. We must begin to understand the importance of this statement if we are to grasp the Christian attitude toward wrong doing and the wrong doer. So often we cruelly, mercilessly put people into categories or forever engrave a title or label as a person. There may be facts and evidences to substantiate our judgments only dam people and forever imprison them.
Jesus believed that people could change – he saw the potential in every person he met to become the person God had created them to be. Our Lord’s ministry was to set in motion the process of transformation and liberation. No one who followed him was allowed a fixed and hopeless view of people. When we judge others we inevitably judge ourselves. A self-righteous person who looks down their noses and does nothing to redeem a wrong doer is under the same condemnation as a person who has done the wrong. James 5:19 states, “If one of you should wander from the truth and someone brings him back, remember this; whoever turns a sinner from the error of his ways will save him from death and cover a multitude of sins.”
When we sin – there are consequences involved. Many people sow wild oats and pray for a crop failure. Sin blinds us from the consequences of bad choices and actions. Sin always promises something it can’t deliver. It promises pleasure without pain. Many people don’t think of the consequences before they commit sin. If they did, it would be a great preventative.
Many people are bought into a culture of moral relativism – there are no absolute rights or wrongs. Truth is subjective and relative. Many in our society no longer want to follow the legal laws of the land or our church laws. In the Old Testament before the judges were appointed – “everyone did what was right in his own eyes.” A culture that knowingly ignores and breaks the laws without consequences will soon implode. Romans 3:23 states, “For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.”
Take a look at the consequences of our sinfulness: 1) Loss – family, friends, reputation, character, freedom, and even monetary loss. 2) When we break the law it can result in punishment and imprisonment and the loss of our freedom. 3) Guilt – the laws of self-respect and honor. 4) Separation from God as well as others our sin forms an invisible shield that breaks our fellowship with God as well as with others. And then there is the loss of direction due to our bad decisions and we end up confused and lost.
Christians are not in the stone casting business. We need to all learn to cast nets from the great fisherman. Nets of concern, love, compassion, caring and involvement is what Jesus Christ has called us to do with others. With such nets we can draw all people into the radius of his love, grace, and forgiveness.
Will we be casters of stones or casters of nets? We all are given a wonderful choice. What will your decision be?
See you Sunday in church!