When that woman was thrown before Jesus, the crowd was likely on the side of her accusers. According to the law of Moses, they had every right to stoner her. However, Jesus was not interested in making the crowd happy. He had come to demonstrate God’s love of mercy of Judgement. He looked at this one woman who deserved to die and even though it wasn’t the popular decision, released her from the punishment.
It can be difficult to go against what seems to be the popular thing to do. Sometimes at school, people are being mean and it may not seem right to you. However, you can’t seem to find your voice. You know speaking up may subject you to the same ridicule. Still, we shouldn’t go along with the crowd simply because it’s the popular thing. When others are being mean, we should show kindness. Even if it isn’t the cool thing to do.
Kindness is pretty important. Even when we are speaking truth to our friends. If we’re not careful our quest for truth can really hurt other people. For example if your friend’s makeup looks like a failed science experimenbt, perhaps “You look really ugly today” isn’t the best the best approach. It’s important to let your friend know you care about them. Perhaps start with asking questions, “why did you do your makeup that way.” Maybe there is a good reason things went so wrong. Of course, we don’t want to lie either. A better approach might be, “You’re beautiful, but this makeup is hiding that beauty.”
Jokes are another area where we sometimes lose our sense of kindness. It can be so much fun to slam each other, however we have to be careful. Sometimes you can joke at someones expense and they may laugh along, yet go home feeling destroyed and cry their eyes out.
When I was in middle school, I remember hanging with a group of guys and I feel like they always made jokes at my expense. This went on for months and I thought they hated me. Yet, when it was finally talked about they didn’t even know I was bothered by it. They genuinely thought we were friends.
Honestly in the story we read yesterday, Jesus goes against the crowd and it wasn’t to protect a friend, or a popular kid. It was to protect a guilty woman who deserved to die. This is who God is, showing mercy instead of Judgement, even to the one who deserved to die. Amazing.
THINK ABOUT THIS:
- How will you respond next time the popular thing to do is making fun of someone?
- When you speak truth to your friends, or joke at their expense, does it build them up or hurt them? Perhaps it’s worth asking them directly.
PRAY: Lord, help me to speak with kindness, even when it isn’t the popular or easy thing to do.
Proverbs 11:9 (NLT) With their words, the godless destroy their friends, but knowledge will rescue the righteous.
Proverbs 11:12 (NLT) It is foolish to belittle one’s neighbor; a sensible person keeps quiet.
Prvoberbs 11:17 (TLB) Your own soul is nourished when you are kind; it is destroyed when you are cruel
1 Thessalonians 5:9-11 (NLT) For God chose to save us through our Lord Jesus Christ, not to pour out his anger on us. 10 Christ died for us so that, whether we are dead or alive when he returns, we can live with him forever. 11 So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.
1 Thessalonians 5:11 (MSG) So speak encouraging words to one another. Build up hope so you’ll all be together in this, no one left out, no one left behind. I know you’re already doing this; just keep on doing it.
Proverbs 12:18 (NLT) Some people make cutting remarks, but the words of the wise bring healing.
How can I know all the sins lurking in my heart?
Cleanse me from these hidden faults.
13 Keep your servant from deliberate sins!
Don’t let them control me.
Then I will be free of guilt
and innocent of great sin.
14 May the words of my mouth
and the meditation of my heart
be pleasing to you,
O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.