Unless you're blind, you've seen the flood of images and headlines on TV, social media, magazines, regarding two of the biggest "controversies" today. One is a man who thinks he can "buy in" to being a woman. (And all the women laughed.) The other is also a man, who is being scrutinized for offenses committed over a decade ago.
I won't post my thoughts about either here- though I have lots of them. Because the point is not for me to judge one or the other. My job is to weigh my own life, my own actions, through the weight of the Word.
Does it mean I disregard either? No. Far from it. I can get the information and knowledge, and I can apply it to my own life, my marriage, my parenting. And that my friends is called wisdom.
Because Paul the apostle tells us that knowledge can only "puff up". And that's what has happened to the media, and all the people engaged in either story. Everyone has acquired buckets of "knowledge", be it true or not (since the web is so reliable), and opened their mouth about their opinions, and has stopped there.
The real question we should be asking ourselves, is "what about me?"
Bruce Jenner (nope I won't even entertain the spirit behind the "change" by calling him another name), and Josh Duggar are modern-day mirrors, if we will let them be. Regardless of your stance, regardless of your religious affiliation, or your die-hard conscience, they are examination "tables" for you and I. But instead we've all made them spectacles.
We can see an example of this in John 8, where people of all kinds, the religious elite and the business lay persons, encircle a woman. She's caught in an "act". What her "act" is called, means nothing. The point is Jesus gave us the example that none of the persons standing around throwing accusations, or stones, was in the right.
Whether it's a woman from John chapter 8, Bruce Jenner, Josh Duggar, or you and I, the point is, we should be reading our own hearts before someone else's, since proverbs makes it clear that they are "deceitful and wicked" and none of us can even know them.
I'm sure at one time or another, you were in that circle yourself. I know I've been.
My "act" was a big red letter and my sin on display. The enemy likes to make billboards of shame and draw circles around us of accusations, to paralyze us. That's one of the biggest reasons the church is ridiculed by the world: because typically we line up with words in hand like stones ready to heave.
And the non-religious do it too. In fact they're aim is actually better. They don't throw quite as many into the ring, but when they do, it's sharp and to the point, and it cuts like knives.
I remember standing there, alone, with all types, "Christ-followers" through atheists, with rocks in hand.
And I remember when Christ broke through and made the circle dissipate.
And if we are true followers of Christ, we should do the same, and walk. Walk away. And say nothing.
Maybe Bruce needs Jesus to enter into his circle. Not maybe- I know he does.
And Josh the same.
Because shame and accusation and guilt show no partisanship.
But you and I now on the outside of the circle need to drop the stones, and examine ourselves. Because but for the grace of God, there go I. Or you. Or any of us.
It doesn't mean I agree with everything that is done or that the "acts" in the center of the circle are excusable. Far from it.
It just means my shame was no different, and I'll be the first to clear a space for them to walk away from the circle.
The enemy will torment them enough. He will bruise and rip and tear and slice away at the dignity of both men, until they've reached nothing but a bottomless pit of hopelessness and depression.
And God will be the only source to rip them from such a place, and I pray they both, find Him there.
But in times like these, my job, and your job is to examine the hearts in ourselves in hopes that we not fall into the same traps and demise as they.
Ask yourself the hard questions. Face the hard reality. Because none of us is exempt from either.
Their sin may look different than yours, but it falls into the same three categories of them all: the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life.
I guarantee Bruce didn't wake up one morning to say "I'm a woman". He gradually broke down through many mornings, until one day he grappled with such a question.
Josh didn't wake up one day and say "today I'll molest my sisters." He thought about and made choices one by one that lead to a road of destruction.
What is the small step you've taken today, yesterday, that's put you in the motion towards sin? Because anything gratifying self, and contrary to the Word, is a step in the wrong direction, and the start of a road that leads to waking up one morning with a giant revelation of who you've "become".
Don't be fooled, or you've come to the edge of a dangerous cliff that points directly to where these two men are.
Jesus forgive me for reading and talking about it all and not questioning myself and my heart. And forgiveness for you.
Lord help us to look inward before throwing rocks at people just like us.