Have you ever had a memory of something that your entire body reacted to? Like, you remember a sight, touch, smell, sound, or taste that physically feels as though it is happening all over again. It is quite fascinating that our minds are that powerful, isn’t it?
A couple weeks ago our pastor did a sermon on judging others. Remember the story of the adulteress?
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 the act of 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, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her” (John 8:3-7).
This is what the sermon was based on and I keep thinking of it because I struggle with judging others from time to time. I also know how it feels to be judged. We all know how that feels and it truly can have devastating effects.
During the sermon we all had stones in our hands that they gave us as we entered the sanctuary. At one point the pastor threw his stone into a metal bucket to demonstrate how we need to let go of the stones we hold. It was disturbingly loud and sent a shock-like reaction throughout my entire body. Other times throughout the sermon he would pick up another stone and throw it into the metal bucket. Even though I knew what was coming, my body reacted the same each time. I remember squeezing the rock in my hand thinking of times I have wrongly judged others.
It was brilliantly done. It was also convicting.
Too many christians justify their judgment of others. I too have justified my judgments. Satan uses this as a way to divide the christian community. I’m going to repeat. Satan uses this as a way to divide the christian community. As long as there is judgment, slander, gossip, and so on whatever good works you are doing for God will be weaker. It definitely isn’t bringing as much glory to God. Guaranteed. When I think of this coming from Satan, it makes me realize how important it is for us to hear it and then guard ourselves against it. It isn’t easy. It especially isn’t easy to speak out against it when you are with a group of people doing it. It gives me anxiety just to think of it.
Looking through the bible, there are numerous passages I can share to back up my thoughts. The one that stands out the most though is 1 Corinthians 13:1 because I believe lack of love causes all of this. As Christians, we use our spiritual gifts to further the kingdom and to strengthen our brothers and sisters in Christ. The verse says:
“If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal” (1 Corinthians 13:1).
I think of my body’s reaction to the stones being thrown into the metal bucket…it is the same reaction I would have to a clanging cymbal. Without love, we are a disturbing sound that sends a shock-like reaction throughout our entire bodies. Yikes.