It’s a wildly popular sport on social media. It’s reported on the news and enthusiastically published in articles. Its origin is from an ancient law and it was socially acceptable. It was a public and shameful punishment for sin.
It’s not bodily assaults I’m talking about, but verbal assaults I’m referring to… which can be translated into throwing stones.
The temptation to pick up a rock and throw it back at a real (or perceived) verbal offense is hard to resist when unkind words are hurled our way. It’s hard not to throw- I know. It’s natural to want to avenge our self when someone says ugly or unkind words. But, we let God be God when we release the person’s actions into His hands to do as He sees fit when we resist the urge to throw an unkind comment back. When we defy our desire to throw a smug word or… two… or more, we become more like Christ. The more we’re like Christ, the more blessing we receive from Him.
Blessing means joy, prosperity in all things concerning life, and favored of God!
Public stone throwing can be even more tempting because not only is it popular and socially acceptable, but it satisfies our desire to shame or humiliate another when we openly injure them- giving us a false sense of power over them (self-righteousness). But Jesus is pretty clear about how we should treat others:
Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.1 Peter 3:9
“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.”1 Peter 4:8
“Love covers over a multitude of sins” means to forgive those who harm you, overlook their offense, pray for them, bless them, and move on. It means- drop the stone.
Jesus said on the cross,“Father, forgive them, for they do not know that they are doing.” As Jesus’ followers, we are called to the same commitment, attitude, and character. If those who crucified Him knew who He was and His purpose for them, they wouldn’t have crucified Him. The same is true with those who deliberately speak offensively- if they were better acquainted with God’s Word, truth, and understood His way and will, they would not throw stones that incite injury, insult, punishment, and shame those who are made in the image of God.
Jesus’ act on the cross shows us the path of forgiveness we need to take when stones are thrown at us.
The next time you’re tempted to return a stone for revenge or throw it because everyone else is doing it, remember God has called us to love, not to injure one another.
Will you choose to put down the stone and forgive?
“But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” Luke 6: 27-28