I've been thinking about some of the times God has spoken to me through Scripture. We really do have a God who takes the time to involve Himself personally in our lives and teach us - if we just allow Him the opportunity. I think often times we're so concerned about what's wrong with other people that we miss the opportunity to allow God to help us to grow personally.
I've read or heard read many times the story of the woman caught in adultery -the one who the Pharisees were about to stone until Jesus stepped in. I used to hear that story and feel so angry with those Pharisees. How could they be so judgmental and unforgiving as to stone a lady to death? Then one time I was reading that story and suddenly the woman had a name. She became someone I knew personally. She had broken up the marriage of a good friend of mine. I had witnessed the destruction of a family and the felt the hurt of many innocent people. I blamed this woman.
Suddenly, I experienced this story from Scripture with a new perspective. I was standing with the Pharisees holding a rock in my hand ready to hurl it at this lady. And right next to me was a whole bucket of rocks. I had no mercy. I could see myself angrily throwing stones until this person was dead. At that moment, I did not have the heart of Jesus but the heart of a Pharisee.
Through Scripture, God helped me to recognize an opportunity for personal growth. I knew I had to change my heart - but it was - and is - SO HARD to change. Where was I to start? It became clear I could not do it on my own. I began to pray about it. At first, I prayed for HER - but that did not change MY heart! Then I began to pray for ME and I think it might be working. I don't want to throw stones at her anymore!! But, I don't want to go up to her and embrace her or become her best friend either. I find that I still want to keep my distance. So, I guess I'm still judging her. I guess I still have some work to do! Somehow, I just have to figure out how to get out of the way and let God do His work in me!