By Patrick Hawthorne
Numerous times I’ve heard the story. Yet, each time I hear the account it is as if I’ve never heard it before. Could it be because it is true of me as well? Is the Lord pricking my heart – pruning me – in order that I might change? Maybe…
The story I allude to comes from my pastor. In the early years of his ministry, when he was under the spiritual authority of his pastor, he did a foolish thing. He rebuked his pastor over an issue in which he did not have all the facts. At the time he was young in the faith and thought he knew all of life’s answers. The problem, as his pastor bluntly put it, was that he did not know all the questions.
We are a judgmental society…always have been and I suppose always will be. Sadly, the Christian community is no different. We too have a bad habit of leaping before we look when it comes to throwing out our two cents concerning societal issues. Instead of asking the Lord for the proper questions, we foolishly assume we have all the right answers. All too often, with pointed fingers and venomous tongues, we spew daggers at our prey instead of words that may bring healing or restoration. Had we stopped for a moment to inquire of the Lord the ‘why’ behind the person’s actions we might have been given the ‘how’ of how to pray.
Jesus was perfect in all His ways. When the prostitute was brought before Him to be stoned, the religious sect showed a shallow zeal for righteousness whereas Jesus showed an uncompromising compassion for her soul. After all, Jesus did not come to condemn the world but to save the world. Instead of joining in with the chants for death Jesus instead gave the woman life.
Blatant sin is ever on the increase. It is easy to fall into the temptation of developing a shallow zeal for righteousness especially in the face of such moral decay. Nevertheless, we must resist that temptation of thinking we know all the answers when we don’t even know all the questions. Stop – ask – listen – pray! Be blessed.