How’s your finger?
Let Your Word be Honey, not Vinegar
How’s your finger these days?
When you see someone in a destructive habit, like say swearing, do you point your finger at them and condemn them in public? Is that done in love or is that done in pompous arrogance saying look at that filthy sinner, I am so much holier than them? Is that what Jesus did to the woman caught in adultery or is that what the scribes and pharoses did? If you are a follower of Christ, should you not behave like He did?
The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the groupand 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.” Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground. At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” John 8:3-11New Living Translation
Indeed, how many people have been driven from the church because of these wicked Pharisees?
That is precisely what happened to me. How about you? Have you ever been driven out of a community like a church or community group because of this? Have you ever driven someone out of a church or group because you did this to someone? Are you a Harper Valley Hypocrites? (I think that was sung by Tammy Wynet in the nineteen sixties. Great song)
"Show me a person who is hyper-critical, and I will show you a person who is guilty of far worse sin in his own life. David was guilty of adultery and of premeditated murder. Yet he thought it perfectly just to kill a man who had merely stolen his neighbor's sheep. Of all people, King David should have been 'Mr. Compassion.' But instead, he was 'Mr. Hypocrisy.' He fell neatly into Nathan's little prophetic trap, as the prophet pointed his finger straight at David and said, 'You are the man.'" Greg Laurie
I prefer to take them aside and ask questions rather than condemn. You will find you get better results that way.
"Do not use harmful words, but only helpful words, the kind that build up and provide what is needed." (Ephesians 4:29a The English Version)
When you use mean words the other person becomes defensive and builds walls. That is no way to resolve conflicts. It is better to sit down, with a third party who is unbiased, if necessary and talk the situation out. Take paper and pen. Write down their points of view about the situation and it may help you better understand the situation and you change, not them. Maybe it is a cultural thing you are unaware of, maybe it is just a bad habit they can’t break. Or, maybe it is because of a past experience that they behave the way they do.
At any rate, unless you are Jesus, who are you to judge another.
Respect others as you want to be treated with respect. Joseph- Anthony: Green
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22-23 New International Version)
Prayer: Please Jehovah Chanan (Jehovah is gracious) please guide my words and actions to be filled with grace that I may mirror you. Please guard my heart to judge myself more severely than to judge other. I ask this in the name of the supreme judge Jesus Christ. Amen.
May the sunshine of Jesus’ sweet love bless you today and every day.