And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. — John 8:9
Our world today is infatuated with the idea that people need to be perfect. We often hear the term “cancel culture” used to describe what happens. Someone says or does something that is not popular or acceptable across society and the uproar begins. They want the person to be fired, punished, or some have even called for people to be expelled from society entirely.
There is a measure of accountability for sin, that is true. When we sin, there are consequences that we must face but that does not mean that those around us are the judge of that consequence. We find in John 8 the story of a woman who was caught committing adultery. It was common practice in that day for the Jews to stone someone to death caught in adultery.
The crowd attempted to catch Jesus in the moment, but he turned the situation on those around the woman. He said that if anyone was innocent themselves, to go ahead and cast that first stone. He said if you were without sin, then go ahead and judge the woman for her sin. But you find that not one single person there could cast that first stone.
Each and every person was guilty of sin themselves. I can only imagine that woman standing among the people as she sees the stones start falling one by one to the ground. Sure she was going to die, she now realized that she would live, but not without punishment for her sin.
Jesus tells the woman that she should go, but she should sin no more. She was forgiven of the sin she committed, but she was to leave that sin behind and change her life. No doubt she dealt with the punishment of her sin for the rest of her life, knowing she had committed adultery. But she did not have to live in that life of sin, because she knew that Jesus told her she was not condemned.
Rather than trying to judge those around us and their sin, we should be more focused on fleeing the sin in our own lives. We need to drop the stones of political correctness and judgment in favor of focusing on our own lives and our own sin.
Instead of pointing the finger or casting the stones against someone else, perhaps we follow Jesus’ example. Perhaps we should remember the sin in our past and simply be thankful that He forgave and changed our lives. Then, we can share that experience with others to help them flee from sin in their lives.