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John 8:7 NIV "When they kept on questioning him, he straightened
up and said to them, 'If any one of you is without sin, let him be the
first to throw a stone at her.'"
Josh grew up in the church and was active in his youth group growing
up. Like many children who were raised in a Christian home, Josh adopted
the faith of his parents. But that all changed when he turned 30.
Josh fell in love with another woman and left his wife. When he told
his family about his decision, his mother couldn't stop "preaching" at
him about his sinfulness and his sister outright told him that he would
go to hell because of this sin.
Today, Josh is a disciple of Buddha.
I can't justify Josh's behavior. There is no excuse for breaking his
marriage vows, leaving his wife and flaunting his decision is his family's
face. But neither is there any excuse for his family's reaction. If their
judgmental spirit didn't push him away from Christianity toward Buddhism,
it certainly was a contributor in his decision to leave the faith of his
childhood to walk down another path in life.
Too bad, especially since the faith his family follows that he left
teaches the importance of love, forgiveness and acceptance just like it
teaches the importance of fidelity and family values. His mother and sister
didn't foster repentance in Josh's heart, instead, they pushed him away
from their faith and severed their relationship with him.
Being right is one thing. Being righteous is another. To be righteous,
we must treat other people with respect, love and forgiveness. Even when
they are wrong. Especially when they are wrong.
story from ON Mission, July/Aug 2001, p. 28)
the sermon that
corresponds to this devotional.