With this week being right after Easter, I’ve decided to go the Biblical route with this week’s post. With the first three values of the Super 8 being faith based, I find it refreshing to visit the Bible’s stories for lessons in today’s world. Again, if you don’t necessarily believe in the Good Book, you can at least learn from its teachings. The concepts of faith aren’t necessarily reflective of one set of religious ideals.
This week’s story is pretty well known, it’s one of my personal favorites since I learned it. It certainly has an everyday application that I believe is especially relevant in these times. The reading comes from the first half of the eighth chapter in the Gospel of John. The verse specifically being John 8:7, “He that is without sin among you, cast the first stone at her,” (KJV).
Here’s how the story goes, and how it can apply to your life:
Jesus was in the temple preaching to a group of people. In this group of people were scribes and Pharisees of the temple, who had brought a woman along with them. They told Jesus that this woman had committed adultery, which is against the Law of Moses, more commonly known as the Ten Commandments. They were prepared with stones and rocks in their hands, claiming that by breaking the Laws of Moses, she was subject to be stoned. They asked Jesus if this was acceptable, trying to bait him into saying the wrong thing. He bent down next to the woman and said,
“He that is without sin among you, cast the first stone at her.”
At hearing this, the men thought amongst themselves. None of them had lived a life free of sin or wrongdoing. So, they had no right to stone the woman, according to Jesus. They then all dropped their stones and walked away until only Jesus and the woman remained. It was in this moment that He forgave her, understanding that no one lives a life without making mistakes.
That is what we often need to step back and think about. We as people and as a society are so quick to condemn others when we think they are in the wrong. Often times, we have been guilty of the same wrongdoing we notice in others. The Bible cites this more explicitly in Romans 2:1; “You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things,” (NIV).
Other times, what we find to be wrong can actually be right. Sometimes, we get upset over things that aren’t relevant or that are our of our control. Regardless, all of the time, we should forgive and be forgiven. That’s what we as a world are missing.
Forgiveness is not just a set of words, either. It’s accepting, understanding, and moving forward without holding grudges or having beef. For as many empty apologies as there are in the world, I’d say there are just as many empty acceptances of apologies. Both sides of forgiveness must be wholesome to make a difference.
There’s a sense of patience and introspection that we need, especially in these times. We are obligated to be home with the same people for days on end. I hope that it hasn’t been a rough time for you, and that you enjoy the company of your family. But, there are times where we get frustrated with our parents, brothers, sisters, spouses or kids. That frustration may often be warranted, but shouldn’t be expressed without patience or understanding… and eventually forgiveness. We will likely frustrate the others in our home to a similar extent, and would appreciate that same understanding and forgiveness that we have to exhibit. Therefore, both perspectives in this story are valuable.
Furthermore, we need to find the people in our lives that resemble Jesus. Find those people that will accept you for who you are. Too many times we find ourselves changing our values, trying to hide our past, or treating bosses differently than co-workers. Whatever the case may be, hold true to yourself, embrace your story, admit your flaws, and the right people will appear in your life. And they’ll stay there. It’s never too late, or too early, to implement this.
Despite your belief system, the lessons are simple and clear. Refrain from judging and persecuting others. Understand that you are not perfect. Ask for and seek forgiveness. Forgive others and don’t hold grudges. Be yourself, and trust that it attracts the right people for your life.
Short and sweet this week. Hopefully impactful, too. I’ve been fairly busy recently, so I expect being able to churn some more posts out in the near future.
Until next time,