There is an interesting scripture in John 8:1-10. It is a popular scripture about the woman caught in adultery. There are people who argue that the man was left untouched while a public show of shame was made of the woman; religious hypocrisy, that’s a good story for another day.
What does it mean to judge others while pretending you have everything in the right place? Some people give opinions about others when they know, deep in their hearts, that they are also suffering from the same or other kinds of weaknesses.
There are many interesting lessons in these verses for every Christian who understands that we will all give account of our time on earth to the Lord. One very interesting lesson for me is in verse 7; “…he lifted up himself and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her”.
Take note of the underlined words; if Jesus had said “He that is without the sin of adultery among you, let him first cast a stone at her”, that woman would have died by stoning. There were religious people among the accusers who had never committed the sin of adultery and fornication in their lives; they would have been justified to stone her to death.
But Jesus knows all men (and women). He decided to turn that incident into a teachable moment. Never forget that the “stone” can be words, looks, judgemental attitudes, punishments, segregation etc.; Jesus is saying you are not qualified to use any of these on a fellow human if there is any form of sin in your life. He is not asking you if you have committed that same kind of sin for which the accused is brought to judgement, he is saying that except you are spotless, please don’t fake holiness.
Don’t get the scripture wrong; God is not asking you to be imperfect. He is telling you to be careful about how you judge and treat other people. The human heart has the tendency to be prompt in judging others. A brother and a sister in the choir were caught in adultery, your heart strongly condemns them; but you know that you are also struggling with covetousness.
Since your weakness is internal, you feel that you have the moral high-ground to condemn others. God is saying: STOP, I have not asked you to be part of the judgement council. Face your battle and overcome your own weakness.
Remember that scripture; Judge not, so that you will not be judged. Each of us should endeavour to work out our salvation individually and silently. The eternal race you are running is individualistic and personal, each person’s final judgement will also be individualistic; don’t put extra burden on yourself by judging others. Leave the judgement to God.
My name is Adekunle Adewunmi, I write about Godly-Living on Sundays.