Have you ever poured your heart out to others trusting that they were showing empathy, only to find out later that they were really gathering ammunition?
In essence, they've weaponized your vulnerability with the vieled intention of using the content of your self-disclosure against you when it’s convenient to them or serves their interests?
I’ve experienced it, and it sure doesn't feel good.
Who can you really trust, if not God and God alone?
I’m not throwing stones. If anything, I am committing to drop the rock, hoping others will come to reason or in good faith, do the same.
What right do we have use the vulnerability shown by others against them. In trusting another, what's said in private is then repeated publically. That's the sin in this scenario.
Jesus understood betrayal, especially among the religious. There is always way more to the story, than the distorted lies being repeated as empirically verified facts.
Read what the religious tried to do to a woman they clam was caught in an act of adultery, but was likely the victim of human traficking and sexual exploitation. Some theologians even posit that Jesus was writing the names of the men holding rocks, and the sin committed against the woman in the sand in front of them, thereby demonstrating his knowledge of their duplicity and their feeble attempts to scapegoat the woman and murder her to cover their sin.
Jesus walked up the Mount of Olives near the city where he spent the night. Then at dawn Jesus appeared in the temple courts again, and soon all the people gathered around to listen to his words, so he sat down and taught them. Then in the middle of his teaching, the religious scholars and the Pharisees broke through the crowd and brought a woman who had been caught in the act of committing adultery and made her stand in the middle of everyone. Then they said to Jesus, “Teacher, we caught this woman in the very act of adultery. Doesn’t Moses’ law command us to stone to death a woman like this? Tell us, what do you say we should do with her?” They were only testing Jesus because they hoped to trap him with his own words and accuse him of breaking the laws of Moses. But Jesus didn’t answer them. Instead he simply bent down and wrote in the dust with his finger. Angry, they kept insisting that he answer their question, so Jesus stood up and looked at them and said, “Let’s have the man who has never had a sinful desire throw the first stone at her.” And then he bent over again and wrote some more words in the dust. Upon hearing that, her accusers slowly left the crowd one at a time, beginning with the oldest to the youngest, with a convicted conscience. Until finally, Jesus was left alone with the woman still standing there in front of him. So he stood back up and said to her, Dear woman, where are your accusers? Is there no one here to condemn you?” Looking around, she replied, “I see no one, Lord.” Jesus said, “Then I certainly don’t condemn you either. Go, and from now on, be free from a life of sin.” Then Jesus said, “I am light to the world, and those who embrace me will experience life-giving light, and they will never walk in darkness.” The Pharisees were immediately offended and said, “You’re just boasting about yourself! Since we only have your word on this, it makes your testimony invalid!” Jesus responded, “Just because I am the one making these claims doesn’t mean they’re invalid. For I absolutely know who I am, where I’ve come from, and where I’m going. But you Pharisees have no idea about what I’m saying. For you’ve set yourselves up as judges of others based on outward appearances, but I certainly never judge others in that way. For I discern the truth. And I am not alone in my judgments, for my Father and I have the same understanding in all things, and he has sent me to you. “Isn’t it written in the law of Moses that the testimony of two men is trustworthy? Then what I say about who I am is true, for I am not alone in my testimony—my Father is the other witness, and we testify together of the truth.”John 8:1-18 TPT
The great message in this verse is don't throw stones in judgement, but go to your knees in humble prayer. It his holier to recognize your own sin than point out someone else. It is more godly to focus on bringing forgiveness, restoration, and reconciliation rather than judgment and condemnation. Don't spread lies, only speak the truth, and speak the truth in love.
In conclusion, I recognize that in times of grief, and emotional distress, it is easier to buy into the lies the enemy puts into our minds about one another, rather than seeking the truth and affirming their belovedness.
It's sad but interesting to note that while serving in ministry, one day you're everyone's hero, and the next day their worst enemy. Ask Jesus, He knows all about the fickle and feeble faith of opportunistic humans. After all, he healed their sick, raised their dead. He ate with them, taught them the truth, and they rewarded his sacrifice by betraying him, calling for his death, even after he gave them true life.
The example set by Jesus during his crucifixion is this, “forgive them Father, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:24).
Such is the way of a Ragamuffin Saint.
I will pray for those who persecute me, and pass on false accusations about me. My prayer will be that God meets them in their moment of need, and reveals the truth to them, and reminds them of their own belovedness.
This dust-covered disciple is covered in the dust of his Rabbi’s feet and remains completely clean.
I send my love and my thanks. Thank you to those of you who have supported me, believed the best of me even when the worst has been said about me. I truly appreciate your support.
By His Grace Alone,
Pastor Jeremy Evans
*Please forgive my brevity, I am blogging from my iPhone.