By Glyndora Condon MS MFT LPC, forgiveness toward healing
Heal Hope Counseling Services
A woman was caught in the act of adultery (nothing is mentioned as to the man-which could be due to the male dominant culture) and she was taken out to be stoned (a practice still going on today in Muslim dominated countries); but was practiced during the day of Christ. Those present wanted to try to trip up Jesus; asking Him what should they do with this woman-knowing that either way He answered then some would not like what He said. This was an effort to trap Him and to justify the stoning of this woman. Jesus was writing in the sand/dirt, quiet as the crowd continued to press Him with provoking questions. Jesus then rose to His feet, stood tall and straight (like a person of authority would) and stated simply (paraphrased); he who has no sin, cast the first stone. The Jesus knelt back down to the ground, silent, and waited. He allowed the heart to expose and to convict each one of those men; from the eldest to the youngest. Can you imagine their shock as he placed the decision and responsibility back onto their shoulders and spoke with such wisdom-which all had to know that they were sinners-and all were worthy of stoning due to their sin, yet were attempting to be the judge and the punisher of one who to was a sinner. The only person who was sinless was God who was kneeling; in a man's body. He was the only one worthy to decide, to judge, and to condemn the sinner-yet He was willing to forgive her, since He knew her heart and knew she was repenting. After a while, all of the hand held rocks were dropped; one by one as each knew that they were sinful people.
We have rocks today. We are ready to judge and condemn; to crucify others for the least infractions that we perceive are against us. We feel that others must cater to our every whim and belief-even when it goes against their core beliefs and convictions-and if they do not-then we judge them as bigots, infidels, cruel, insane, stupid, heartless, or other disparaging label, and then we grip our stones to pound them senseless, without any mercy, while we stand in our minds as justified in our actions. We operate from the fallacy of being right and ready to defend our rightness at all cost. We operate from the fallacy of fairness that is woefully skewed to our measurement of what is fair for all people from our very limited perception which is highly subjective. We operate from the fallacy of control as we feel we are victims of others and circumstance without any responsibility for our situation; or justified in forcing your power over others. These and other many distortions are in operation that fuels such beliefs, emotions, and reactions.
What are the rocks that we hold? Our strongholds that threaten others?
Emotional immaturityJustificationRationalizationDependencyAggression, and the list goes on....
In therapy then we capture the distortions and teach our clients how to challenge them; how to mindfully process them and then how to redirect and focus our response to ourselves and then to others. We learn to accept our thoughts and reactions and be in the present. We learn to change that thought and to locate better solutions, then to respond with a positive response that does not violate others yet that will protect our own boundaries. This diffuses the situation, the emotions that were once depending upon distortions of thoughts-and therefore de-escalates the problem as it begins to empower each member who is interacting in that relationship. In other words; we drop the rock and we choose a better solution.