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.