At church camp
when I was a teenager, an ugly rumor about two of our counselors quickly became
the talk of the camp. The next day, at morning prayer, the minister read the
story of the adulterous woman, in which Jesus told the crowd that any person
who had no sin could cast the first stone. And one by one, those who had come
to stone her to death walked away.

Then the minister
passed around a bucket of stones and insisted that we each take one and carry
it in our pocket throughout the remainder of camp. Any time we felt like criticizing
someone else, or talking behind another’s back or passing on an ugly rumor,
we were to reach into the pocket, touch the stone and ask ourselves if we were
without sin.

It’s so easy to
criticize others, but only God knows a person’s heart. Would you try something
with me? Today, let’s each find a small stone to carry in our pocket or use
as a reminder that we are not to judge others.

Lord, prevent me
from casting stones.

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