Woman at the Well

Sometimes we as believers are rebuke happy.  We go forth rebuking anyone and everything.  We mean well, but we sound so harsh.  We are one big bundle of negativity.  Many people think of someone who is religious as being one of those dogmatic or 'legalistic' people.  Folks are driven to hate the word "religious" because of it.

Then there are those of us who are "love" happy.  We are all flowers, kittens, and fluffy clouds in personality.  We might cross the line into a false prosperity gospel.  We might preach/teach everything is all wonderful and perfect for God's people all the time.  We don't speak out against sin nor dare step on toes.  For the record, people think of that as being fake and dislike it about as much as the previous example.

How should we really be?  Balance is needed.  We are to obey God's ways and His Word.  There IS that place for pointing out sin. 

There is also the 'heart of the law'.  We can NOT forget that part!!! 

We need to indeed teach and encourage each other to follow God's Word.  It should be done humble and loving encouragement, not in prideful condemnation.  Sin is not to be ignored lest it lead us to ruin.  However, please remember the heart of the law.  "Let He who is without sin cast the first stone."  "There is none righteous, no one"

None of us are born of perfection.  Let us ENCOURAGE one another along a NARROW path.  Forgive freely and give grace to others as you were given so.

I am thinking on all of this because of a local news story.  A lady who was facing hard times took a couple dollars from a public fountain.  She was arrested and is actually facing potential jail time over it.  She has stated she was so nervous, scared, and very sorry for having done so.  She is in the process of losing her home and kitties.  She was hungry.

So many opinions on this subject.  Some are harshly rebuking the sin of theft.  Some justify the action and see absolutely no wrong in it. 

It is wrong to take something that doesn't belong to us.  How easy it is to give a person grace and forgiveness on this matter?!  Some things are hard to forgive in life, and we struggle against our flesh to do so.  Is this so difficult?  Really?

If Christ caught her at this well taking coins that were not hers, but left behind by others, how would He react?  Would He pick up stones and start casting?  Would He ignore it?  Given her repentance, I think He would say go and sin no more.

If we can't forgive a poor woman for taking a couple bucks from a public fountain because we are so focused on condemning her sin..... then we are just like the Pharisees who received the harshest rebukes from Christ!

I say we remember the Word and we try to obey it, but while doing so we never forget grace.  We never forget the evil and sin He saved us from.  Instead of casting stones, about we offer a helping hand up?

What do you say?