Check You First

“…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.” - John 8:6-9
We have all reached a point where we have wanted to resign or step away from some organization, relationship, or job due to dissatisfaction and discouragement.  
All around us, people are becoming increasingly discouraged by the treatment at work, by the direction of their social groups, and many even by the lack of fulfillment in their relationships. And rather than staying there and toughing it out, many are just quitting. This not only happens in the secular world, but in the church as well.  
It’s not that they don’t esteem, value, or have a regard for the church, but they are tired of the hypocrisy, the mismanagement, the scandals, the blatant contradictions, and so more and more people are “resigning” from the church. They don’t want to be a part of it anymore.  
In today’s key Scripture passage, Jesus challenged each of the men condemning the woman caught in adultery. They wanted to stone her for her sin, so Jesus said that the one among them without sin could be the first to throw a stone. These men knew immediately they couldn’t throw a stone, because even though they were highly religious figures, they weren’t perfect. They weren’t without sin. And in that moment when Jesus challenged them, they were forced to check themselves before they continued to point fingers at another sinner.  
When was the last time you did a self-evaluation of your own life? You are not responsible for everyone’s actions, but you are responsible for how you treat others. Are you judgmental or empathetic? Do you jump to conclusions or are you willing to be listening ear?  
As believers we should strive to be like Jesus more than anything else. This should attract others to the church, not turn them away. So before judging another person’s life, think back to the times that God has given you grace and mercy.

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