Posted by: ritagone | October 31, 2018

Casting Stones

 

 

I don’t mind a public figure ranting and raving against the powers that be, those powers that be usually being politicians or anyone else.  Well, I do mind a bit, but that’s not my point here, so for the sake of argument, let’s say I don’t mind as much as the point I’m going to make in a minute.

The other day I streamed a British awards program which honored a handful of artists — actors and producers and directors –among them comedian/actor Jim Carrey.  Jim Carrey was the last honoree to speak toward the end of the show.  He got up and received his award and then proceeded to deliver a speech that was politically charged and hostile and nasty.

Again, not unusual.  And in this climate we live in, well received among his artist audience.

But what made me think was this: what if every person who ranted and raved against the government and the social ills of our day stopped and instead looked inward and made a commitment to make themselves better, to turn a flashlight on their own problems and disasters rather than hurling stones and rocks outwardly?  A bit of Jesus’ throwing the first stone by he who is without sin?

It’s so easy to yell and scream and accuse everyone else of bad behavior.  I’m sure Jim Carrey felt really proud of his assault on the world around him, like a hero, having spoken his piece.  But I wonder if Jim Carrey’s own interior life and behavior could stand up to scrutiny by someone else and what that would feel like for him?

Get your own house in order, I guess I’m saying.  It’s easy to look elsewhere.  It’s much more difficult to make the commitment to clean up our own space.

And that’s what Jesus asked us – commanded us, really – to do: the hard work of self-fixing, self-examination, before we look around us to condemn and castigate others.

Right now we have a President who makes it so easy to look away from ourselves critically and instead hurl insults and criticisms at him. Whether he deserves them or not is not the issue; what’s at issue in my mind is how much time and attention we need to spend on ourselves before we go looking for others to whip.

Right now, again, to go against the grain and stop criticizing others, no matter who they are, and concentrate on what we need to fix in ourselves is the much more difficult path.

Jesus never said it would be easy.  And He was certainly right.

 

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