I remember once being caught by my parents for drawing on the walls. I couldn’t deny it. I have a vivid memory, I think I was about 5 years old, of holding a crayon at shoulder-level and walking along and drawing a long line the entire length of a hallway in our home. Something about drawing on walls fascinated me; I was a virtual Picasso at home in my younger years.
I’ve seen a trend in decorating these days where families will actually mount a frame around the drawings that their kids have scrawled on their homes’ walls. Had this been a trend when I was a child, well, there wouldn’t have been enough frames to take care of all my drawings!
While my art was, in my opinion, of art gallery quality, my parents had another opinion on the matter. There were consequences to my actions and, in time, I did figure out that ending my career as an in-home artist was the best thing for me to do.
I’ve noticed in our daily lives that we aren’t as forgiving with one another as we are with children when they draw on the walls. We are far more prone to paint over our own drawings than we are to forgive the faults of others who have failed to make “the grade” in our opinion; after all, they drew on our walls!
Why are we so quick to throw stones at those who have drawn on our walls?
The problem we face when we throw stones of judgment at those who wrong us or who don’t conform to our standards is that in so doing we restrict the power of God from flowing from us to others.
Does this mean that we don’t confront sin or have standards? Not at all. However, when we face those who have sinned or fallen short of standards, we would do well to first examine what is our end-goal in dealing with that person? Is it to shame them into conformity or is it to love them back into the family? God’s design from the beginning was to build a family, how have we gotten so far from His initial intention?
Jesus has a habit of doing things other than throwing stones at people. When confronted with a woman in sin, those bringing her tried to use God’s standard against sin as a reason to stone her. Jesus, so wise in His response, said, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” (John 8:7).
The woman’s act was sinful, that was not in dispute. The judgmental attitude of those wanting to stone her, those whose walls had been drawn on, was what Jesus challenged. Why is it so important to cast stones when we have all been guilty at one time or another of missing the mark?
Jesus won this challenge of His authority by forgiving, not stoning.
If we really want to win our families, friends, and the world for Jesus we would do well to remember that the One Who had the right to throw stones didn’t: He forgave and told her to move on and “sin no more.”
As we end this year, we would all do well to remember that our Father never throws stones, He rolls them, or takes them, away!
Remember Lazarus? He commanded the stone to be “taken away” (John 11:39).
Remember His resurrection? The stone was also “taken away” (John 20:1).
Those stones are, in one sense, hindrances, judgments, sin, that keep people from the Father. The problem of throwing stones at those we find fault in is that as we close our hearts to the possibility of God working in them, we roll stones in front of our own relationships with God. It is a tangled web that we weave when we step into the shoes of both Judge and Jury.
Let’s not throw stones this coming year; let’s roll them, let’s take them away with soft hearts of forgiveness. Instead of throwing stones, why not draw signs with our crayons pointing people to the place where no stones will be thrown at them?