A new building is being built on the campus of the college where I work. And it is being built right in front of my building. When I went back to work last week, after being off most of the summer, there was a big hole and a pile of dirt inside the construction fence. But I didn’t see any work being done any day that I was there.
The equipment sat in the same place.
Day in. Day out.
I finally asked someone in the know what was going on and she said that they hit rock. And they had to get approval to spend the additional money to remove the rock. They got the approval and today the work started again.
When I left this afternoon, this is what I saw.
A big pile of rocks.
The rocks are buried in the ground. And they use a punch like thing to break the rocks up and haul them out of the hole.
While they are buried in the dirt they are large. Quite large in fact.
These boulders remind me of sawdust in our eyes referenced in Matthew 7. It is easy to be blinded by the issues of others…or the issues we perceive others to have. Yet, we too easily miss our own issues.
After all, we are not as bad as them.
Jesus didn’t and doesn’t see it that way. Last I checked, Jesus said “he who is without sin, cast the first stone.” John 8 (I paraphrased.)
Then he stooped and wrote on the ground. I wonder what he wrote.
Maybe it was something like…”her sin is visible. Public. She got caught and everyone can see it. Would you like your sins to be public? Visible? For EVERYONE to see…not just me?”
I doubt, seriously, that he wrote such a thing, but we as Christians seem to think we need to rank sins and we decide that some are worse than others. Usually the ones we think are really bad, well, it is usually the ones that can be seen. Yet, Jesus died for all sins…not just the public, visible, oops, I got caught sins.
Not only did he DIE for those sins, he can and will FORGIVE those sins.
And I don’t think it is my place to pass judgment on those sinners. I am not saying that these public sins are OK. They are not. But my sins are mostly hidden.
You don’t see them. And I wouldn’t want you to…but they are sins.
Just like the woman caught in adultery. She was forgiven.
Just like the thief on the cross. He was forgiven.
And I can be forgiven. No matter what my sin.
And don’t think God won’t use sinners…remember Moses? He killed an Egyptian, buried him in the sand and the Lord still used him. (Exodus 2)
As Christians, we need to clean up the garbage in our own life before trying to clean up the garbage in someone else’s life.
I am not saying these things are not sins, I believe they are. I am saying that God forgives ALL sins and as Christians we should get in the business of loving and forgiving. Not judging and condemning. If we are not careful, the pile of rocks in our life might just stop the work altogether.
I would love to hear your thoughts on the matter…
especially on the loving and forgiving part.
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I read these verses this morning as part of @stephanieweinert chapter a day challenge
It has been months since I have shared in this space. A lot of hard things have happened.
Tomorrow it will be four months since the sudden death of a close family member that was in his mid-fifties.
The grief is palpable. The loss is cavernous.
And life goes on.
And I remember that “he is my help and my shield.” And I will be thankful.
With all the grief and sadness in the world I wasn’t sure how I would handle today. How I would allow myself to grieve this loss? Today when there has so much WRONG in our world. In a post @deidrariggs shared today she reminded us that life goes on. And I realized that today this is my life. And I can grieve this loss. My life goes on... I am thankful for the 4 days we had her. On Friday I will remember each event of her last day and I will remember her dying in my arms.
And I will be both sad and grateful. #infantloss #trisomy18 #stlouischildrenshospital
Thank you, Mary. I'm humbled.
Sheila, your post was really, REALLY good!
I think Jesus was fair when he needed to be, firm when he needed to be and accepting when he needed to be. HE did not skirt around words so as to not 'offend' someone. HE told truth and HE was direct. Change and sin no more. That is pretty 'black and white'. There are alot of grey areas in the realm of 'believing' but JESUS let us know if we take the time to read, the TRUTH and what he required of us.
I also believe he let us know the truth. I further believe we are to forgive. Thank you for your comment.
Mary… fellow Grace giver… and grasper… I love this! So much truth! I always love to ponder what it was the Jesus scrawled out in the dirt as well… I remember reading a verse in Jeremiah 17 that says that 'Those who depart from Me shall be written in the earth.' and I sometimes envision Him writing out names of sins… knowing the onlookers knew which ones were theirs. All speculation of course – but what we DO know is that – every time – Jesus extended grace… He showed us that Love DOES… and He offered a way out!
Oh, bless you Karrilee! He does show love and grace…and a way out. Thank you for stopping by and encouraging me.
This is really great, as I can be so quick to judge. What is that saying? "Don't hate me because I sin differently than you." Thankfully, we can all be forgiven. Great post, Mary.
Yes, Kathleen, we CAN ALL be forgiven…just one of God's many gifts to us!
this is so wise and I love how you took what you saw and wrote about it, and reminded us how the rocks/sins in our lives can stop our growth…if we are really focusing on our sins before God, I don't think we will have the inclination to judge someone else…hugs to you, my friend 🙂
Well, Dolly, I don't know about wise – but kind of you to say so – I was certainly out of my comfort zone with this post. Hugs to you too!
Thank you for calling us to the place of wrestling this one out, Mary. I appreciate you.
Thank you, Jennifer. I appreciate you too. This was a very hard post for me to write. Thank you for taking the time to read it.
You have no idea how much this just spoke to me and some "issues" I've been caught up in lately. Thank you for reminding me that I definitely wouldn't want my sins on display. I'm your neighbor at Crystal's today!
Hi Lindsey! Welcome…and I am thankful that the Lord used my words to speak to you.