America, Lay Down Your Stones

Most mornings, I sit on my front porch listening to the birds. In the stillness, I enjoy my coffee and God’s word. While the world moves at a feverish pace, these moments provide a peaceful solitude in spite of the busyness. My spirit and soul are nourished.

Then, I scroll through my Facebook feed and the peace seems to dissipate. The birds’ chorus fades into a bitter backlash of human emotion as friends and acquaintances destroy each other with their words. My spirit and soul are troubled.

America has become masterful at throwing stones. In fact, we’ve gotten so good at it, we don’t even recognize it. We call it freedom of speech. In Christian circles we call it righteousness.

In the midst of damaging conversations and hateful rhetoric, I find myself asking, “What can I do?”

I hear God answer:

“Lay down your stones.”

Throwing Stones

There’s a familiar passage in the Bible of a woman caught in adultery. The religious leaders drag her to the feet of Jesus in an attempt to challenge His teaching. In their culture, her sin was punishable by death. What would Jesus say? As she lay in the dirt between these men, humiliated and helpless, Jesus speaks up:

“Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” —John 8:7

Instead of seeing this as a passage you’ve already read or something that you’ve heard at church on Sunday, insert yourself in the story.


The weight of stones are heavy. While we think that they only damage the at-fault party, but stones injure the thrower as well. Justice is a weight that we were not intended bear.

What is the thing that most offends you? Whatever it is that you hate, whatever injustice you face, whatever offends you, are you willing to lay down your stone?

Friends, our world needs to be filled with a people who are willing to lay down their stones because it is the only way to show the love of Christ to others. There’s no compassion in stone throwing.

The events that surround us are tragic and bring the brokenness of sin into the palm of our hands, but we cannot stoop down and pick up a stone while we’re wearing a WWJD bracelet.

While the world stands in judgement, can we choose grace?


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