In one of our recent weekly talks with the High School students of CTK the topic of bullying was brought up. The students began to cite examples of times they had witnessed or had been victims of the various torments of these bullies. In an instant I felt my anger inside rising. It was a combination of feeling incredibly defensive for these kids and flashbacks of myself as a teenager ruthlessly pursued by some of these very same types. I found myself remarking on how happy I was as an adult to see some of these bullies get what was coming to them. In that moment one of the students piped up. He made the observation that whenever he saw bullies his heart went out to them because they were usually hurt people hurting others. I was flabbergasted! With one remark this kid displayed such an understanding of grace that it made me feel sheepish for my haste to rejoice in the demise of these perceived enemies. I was so caught up in my personal demands for justice and vindication that I had completely lost sight of the fact that even these “guilty ones” were recipients of the grace and restoration of Christ. I was reminded of one of my favorite stories of Jesus found in John 8:7-11. The religious leaders bring a woman that they find guilty of sin in an effort to trap Jesus.
“They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust. When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman. Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?” “No, Lord,” she said. And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.