Saturday, January 3, 2009
Be careful when you throw rocks . . .
At a family get-together several years ago, I overheard my brother telling his children to "be careful when you throw rocks" as they tossed gravel from the driveway at each other.
While I appreciated his attempt to rein in his children, I thought it would have been better to tell them not to throw rocks at all! (Especially since my car and I were in the vicinity.)
Since that time, "Be careful when you throw rocks." had become a joke between my husband and me.
Now I see the phrase from a very different point of view.
The Bible study group I meet with is currently studying the Book of John. Chapter 8 begins with the story of a woman accused of adultery and condemned to be stoned to death. Jesus invites all who have not sinned to throw stones. The crowd quickly dissipates.
We began to discuss how many times people "throw rocks" at us and we respond in kind -- angry words, bad attitudes and judgemental thoughts.
I was reminded of sets of rocks I painted for a "garden tea" at church. Each rock lists a characteristic of loving and Godly responses to others: love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, faithfulness, goodness, kindness and self-control.
Now I see that "be careful when you throw rocks" means if someone is not loving and gracious to me, I don't have to respond in kind. I have the option of choosing to respond differently.
I decided to paint a few more rocks this weekend. Here are some of the results:
Be careful when you throw rocks! :-)