It’s a well known story, which you can check out in verses 1-11, about how Jesus was able to take a trap that had been set for him by the Pharisees and turn it into a demonstration of love, grace and mercy. There’s so much jam packed into these 11 verses that ultimately go to a very fundamental question for us, how do we confront sin and still demonstrate love and acceptance.
We then turned our attention to putting ourselves in the shoes of the onlookers. It didn’t take long for us to realise how easy it is to sit in judgment of those around us and how our own feelings, biases and fears can affect this. A point we didn’t cover on the day, but is worthy of further discussion, is confronting our own sin! This is what the onlookers in the story were ultimately having to do as they considered throwing that first stone.
This led us to the central question of the morning. How do we display love and acceptance without condoning and being “soft” on sin? And how do we confront sin without bringing condemnation? The response was “Hmmm, that’s a hard one”. And it is. There are no hard and fast rules for how we confront sin and bring life. There’s no set formula, and every situation is different requiring wisdom and care. What we did conclude was that it is best done, wherever possible, through relationship.