Over the recent weeks we have experienced an interaction in our country that bothers me. It centers around the election of President Trump. I want to assure you that this blog is not written for the purpose of supporting or criticizing President Trump. What bothers me is the way in which each side is throwing stones at the other side and causing real divisions in our country. It seems that on a daily basis one side throws a stone and the other side takes up a stone and throws one back, rather than trying to work together.
This is not just a recent phenomenon we have experienced. This kind of war of criticism has been going on since the birth of man. It’s easier to criticize others than to look at oneself and focus on our own flaws. We have experienced this as a child when we blamed Johnny for taking our toy truck, but didn’t focus on our decision to take his car. When we get stopped by a traffic cop for speeding, we question the gun that was used to detect our speed , or give excuses for our bad behavior, rather than taking responsibility for our own actions and working on changing ourselves.
If we are in a married relationship, the same tactics are used with our spouse. We have disagreements amongst our selves and are tempted to begin pointing out all the flaws and mistakes we have seen our spouse make. We can criticize so many areas and aspects of a persons daily experience. Bad choices. Personal perspectives. Beliefs. Qualities. Attitudes. Forgotten agendas. There are so many areas where we can criticize and throw stones at our spouse.
I am reminded of this pattern of throwing stones as I read this interaction between Moses and Miriam and Aaron. Moses was the leader of the Israelite nation and Miriam and Aaron were his sister and brother. They were at odds with one another and we pick up the conflict in Numbers 12. “Miriam and Aaron began to talk against Moses because of his Cushite wife, for he had married a Cushite. ‘Has the Lord spoken only through Moses?’ they asked. ‘Hasn’t he also spoken through us?’ And the Lord heard this.” Here is Moses’s brother and sister being critical of the choice Moses made to marry a Cushite woman and began to throw verbal stones at him. Numbers 12:1-2
It reminds me of what Jesus said in Matthew 7:3-5 where He says, “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”
It’s easy to throw stones at others, when the real task on this journey is to continually work on removing destructive patterns of behavior in ourselves. Just think what would happen if this principle could be applied to our personal relationships and our nation.