“You Without Sin, Cast the First Stone”
From John 8:1-11, those are words that Jesus spoke to the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees when they brought a woman before Him when she was caught in the act of adultery. The first question I have….where was the man caught in the act of adultery with her? The second question I have is “How could Jesus forgive her so readily?” There are no words given about the man, but Jesus’ next words show the results of forgiveness for someone who is truly repentant. “Your sins are forgiven you. NOW, go and sin no more.”
Television, radio, social media, newspapers and every other form of media amps up when they hear about the indiscretions and scandals of people in the public eye — celebrities, high profile leaders, politicians, but most of all — pastors, ministers, priests, and though we don’t read about it, we feel it — if it’s happened in our own homes, churches and our own world. I’m not sugar coating the consequences of sin. For those abused and wounded, my heart and my prayers go out to you and for families who have a loved one who has been abused, I’m praying for you. I’m praying for each and every one of us who feels the great pain of betrayal.
If we go way back in history, we’ll see the wrongdoings of some really good people who yielded to temptation and caused a lot of pain for themselves and others. Take, for example, King David in his indiscretion with Bathsheba AND the murder of her husband. (2 Samuel 11). How does God resolve this horrific turn of events? I can take no credit for the following words, except that I gave birth to the writer, my daughter, Staci Wallace. In no way am I condoning or justifying sinners’ faults, mistakes, pitfalls, lies, indiscretions or taking lightly the harm that innocent people have suffered. I can only go straight to our highest authority, God – Himself Who is our Supreme Judge and His Word says “Vengeance is mine. I will repay.” says the Lord. (Romans 12:19). But, what is our responsibility? How do we cope with such blatant indiscretions? My daughter, Staci Wallace, says it so well here:
“Sometimes the hardest VERB to put into action when you’ve been violated, hurt, offended, persecuted, wounded or even hung on a cross by others is LOVE. How can you LOVE when “it” hurts so badly? How can you forgive when the blood is still wet and the wound still open? How can you extend mercy when you have felt the spear of the merciless?
Because forgiveness is not about YOU…it’s about faith. It’s an act of LOVE. It takes faith to forgive. It takes trusting in GOD who “IS LOVE” and then letting go of your hate, personal offenses or deep-rooted anger and let LOVE have its way.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres. Love never fails.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. “Whoever does NOT love does NOT know God, because God IS LOVE.” 1 John 4:8
Those words don’t mean staying in a room that continues to hurt you. Leave the room and CHOOSE LOVE. If someone violates you and true injustice is there, go to authorities of justice and put the offense in THEIR hands so YOU can choose LOVE.
And if, somehow, the justice YOU want to happen – doesn’t happen, and if the authorities allow you to be hung on a cross, persecuted publicly and suffer to the point of death…CHOOSE LOVE and let your final breath be an ether of COMPASSION that is remembered as your final fragrance left in the world.”
I choose LOVE.