Ready, Aim, Throw by Carolyn Tucker

Keys to the Kingdom By Carolyn Tucker


This walk down memory lane is one of my stupidest childhood escapades. During third-grade recess in 1967, my best friend, Jonita, was standing at the top of the slide while I was standing at the landing of the slide. I don’t know why, but I tossed a small rock up the slide and accidentally hit her in the forehead. I wasn’t aiming at her head (if I had I would have missed.) I’m not left-handed but I’ve always thrown a ball with my left hand which probably explains why I can’t hit the side of a barn. But on that day, my random aim was right on target for pain. Thankfully, Jonita wasn’t seriously hurt, but there was blood and a flabbergasted look on both of us. Before writing this column, I asked her if she remembered our recess fiasco and she said that she didn’t. Since I was the stone thrower, I remember the incident well because I felt so awful.


In Jesus’ day, the religious scholars and Pharisees seemed to be ready, willing, and able to stone anyone they deemed needed to die. These religious leaders erred on the side of criticism and condemnation. Dottie Rambo wrote a song in 1978 entitled, “He was the Talk of the Town“ with the lyrics referencing John 8:1-11. “The scribes and the Pharisees, brought a woman to be stoned. ‘Now Moses’ Law says you must die for the sin that you have done!’ The Master didn’t speak a word, He just wrote upon the ground. When they read the news there was none to accuse; He was the talk of the town.” Jesus didn’t deny the provision of the Law, but He challenged any sinless religious leader to cast the first stone. Fortunately, they all walked away with nothing to say or throw.


As modern-day believers, are we more ready to stone people or are we more apt to love people? Just imagine carrying a heavy backpack full of stones everywhere we go. It would be much better if we didn’t carry the weight of that unnecessary burden. It’s not our job to condemn anyone. Even Jesus didn’t condemn. He told the woman caught in the act of adultery, “I certainly don’t condemn you either. Go, and from now on, be free from a life of sin” (John 8:11 TPT.)


In the same chapter, we find the Pharisees extremely offended and angry with Jesus. “At that point they picked up stones to throw at Him. But Jesus was hidden from them and left the Temple” (John 8:59 NLT). Historical records substantiate that there were workmen repairing or building additions to the temple at this particular time. So the stones the Pharisees threw toward Jesus were pieces of stone which had been hewed off by the construction crew.


It would be better to carry around some extra cash to give away when a good opportunity arises than to carry a gunnysack full of rocks. Let’s look for someone to help rather than condemn. Christ followers are to live and practice the truth of the Gospel. There are  ample opportunities to open our heart and hand toward the misfortunate, lost, and hurting. We can choose to fill our days showing love, mercy, and loving-kindness like Jesus did.


“Dear friends, let us love one another, because love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born again because of what God has done. That person knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love” (1 John 4:7-8 NIRV.) Our beliefs, words, and actions must square up with the teachings of Jesus.


The Key: If you love others, you won’t throw rocks at ‘em — unless it’s an accident.

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