Over the past few weeks I’ve been in a position to manage the effects of modern day stone throwing. I’m happy to say that, even though the target of the attacks may have suffered a few injuries, no one has died. Can you even imagine this kind of brutality in our country? People gathering around the accused picking up the nearest rock and assisting in the punishment.
Seems kind of far fetched, doesn’t it? But if I told you that the target is a private business owner and the throwers are rallied by a leader sharing partial truths would you then believe me? Thus a social media stoning commences.
Prior to our modern weapons, stones were used in war mostly in defense. We know that David took down a Goliath with just one small stone. This was an entire country’s face-to-face challenge to be able to worship in freedom.
In the New Testament the woman who was brought to Jesus (John Ch. 8) was pleading for protection from her punishment. Where did these people come from? Did they all know her? Did her actions hurt them? What did they have to do with the situation? Was it that they just happened to have a few extra minutes on their hands and thought they’d join in the bashing?
Have you ever been the victim of social media bashing? It hurts. And those who throw the stones walk away unaware of the ongoing anguish the victim suffers. As the victim – you are now forced to either live with all the negative comments swimming around in your head or throw up a wall of defense and denial.
Some would argue that the rants that occur on social media make the world a better place. Businesses that are dishonest are called out. The government leaders learn citizens’ perspective. On a rare occasion adjustments are made for the better. However, the harsh words are nearly never replaced with praised. Each stone we each hold can tossed so easily and with little thought to the eternal consequence of our actions.
“But I just wanted my friend to feel supported in his anger.” is the motive. The device in our hand is the proximity and our words are the stones.
We have only Christ’s words of guidance to help us next time we are tempted to join forces with others, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.”
My professional career requires that I assist those in the public square avoid the stonings. And, should one start, help them manage how they reason with their situation. Too often their are few in the circle with stones in their hands that even have a desire to know why they are there. They are seeking the accuser’s approval.
The next time it seems fine to add your two cents please make sure the price you are going to pay isn’t Christ’s blood.