Sticks and stones can break bones

Posted: Wednesday, August 24, 2016 | Alphonso Ashworth | Pop Culture

In John 8:7, Jesus confronts those who are prepared to stone a woman to death for committing adultery. Ultimately the attackers are given a choice: Cast their stone or admit their own sins.

This example reveals a dark side in mankind's sinful nature. As was the case in Jesus's time on earth, many of us today are quick to throw verbal sticks and stones. These acid-laced insults become real, hurting the guilty and innocent alike.

As a young child I learned that there is a time to speak and time to button my lips. My grandmother had a rule: When adults are talking, children should be seen and not heard. Today it's hard to understand any language when chaos reigns. Any situation where riots break out before evidence is presented and the accused is given their day in court is an example. Reasonable minds can't sit and discuss the cause of the chaos before bullets, bottles, and bricks become instruments to silence the accused. So we should not be surprised when children participate in the burning and looting; the adults are their example.

Police departments are understaffed, while jails and courtrooms are overcrowded. Provocateurs lurk in dark recesses, stoking the flames of hatred. Filthy lucre becomes the grease which lubricate the wheels of unrest. But what is the real cost? Broken windows? Burned businesses? Yes. But it goes much deeper than any physical damage to someone's property.

Imagine a mother weeping as she says her last goodbyes to a child murdered in these mean streets. A father trying to escape the revolving door of justice in a penal system designed to keep him going in circles. And finally, a community unable to heal from all the broken political promises. These are the real scars. Bricks and mortar can be restored; a precious human life gone before it can reach its full potential can never be.

So when you are confronted with hate and despair, don't pick up a stone. If you do, one may be hurdled back at you... with your sin written on it. Open and read the only instrument that can calm your trouble waters: The Holy Bible. Then and only then will you see the reflection of what we are to be an example -- Jesus Christ.