Only One Can Stand on the Moral High Ground
by David Cross
We seem to be living in a culture that is increasingly determined to point the finger of blame at someone for all that is perceived to be wrong in society. We are frequently encouraged to believe that someone other than ourselves should be made fully responsible for all the problems in our lives. The most common objects of blame are, of course, the political leaders of the day. Why haven’t they sorted all the issues of crime, inequality and climate change?
True, there is a right responsibility for the leaders of a nation to seek to make good decisions for the wellbeing of the population, but how much personal responsibility are we willing to take for the state of the world? The Word of God tells us that there is no one righteous, not even one (Romans 3:10).
Like some opinionated activists today, the Pharisees in the story of the woman caught in adultery were determined to place themselves on the moral high ground, regarding her behaviour. But Jesus challenged them in His usual radical way. He certainly agreed that the woman had sinned and that the law required punishment, but he reminded them that they also deserved similar judgement, unless of course they were quite sure that their lives were completely sinless. They had no answer except to walk away.
Of course, there is a right time to graciously confront the wrongdoing in others, but Jesus suggests that we should be very careful about throwing stones if we are not willing to fully acknowledge our own sin and look for God’s forgiveness. He alone can claim to be without sin and able to pass judgement on human lives.
Prayer: Father God, somehow it can make me feel better if I point out the sinfulness in others and ignore my own. I choose to let You alone stand on the moral high ground and bring Your true conviction, together with the precious promise of forgiveness. Help me to graciously confront others only under Your clear direction and not by my own assessment. Amen.
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