Even When I Deserve Stoning, Alece Ronzino

Posted By on Jun 22, 2010 in Music, The Life I Live, The Things I Believe | 72 comments


Today’s “How He Loves” post is from Alece Ronzino, aka Grit and Glory. As I have said before, Alece is seems well ordinary. She is as easy be around, smart, authentic, and sassy. She is a kindred soul. But at the same time Alece is extra-ordinary. She ventured to Africa right out of high school to be a missionary. She created a successful ministry in South Africa. And through her beautifully written blog, she manages to make sharing her trials and open wounds with practical strangers seem natural.

Find her blog here.

And her twitter here.

I keep thinking about the adulterous woman who was dragged before Jesus. Mainly because I can’t help but see myself in her.

The crowd was ready to stone her for her sin, for her failure. And then Jesus spoke. He looked the mob straight in the eye and actually challenged them to go through with it. Underone condition.

He called for the one without sin to throw the first stone.

I can only imagine the shift that instantly took place within the crowd. They knew they were just as sinful as the woman was. They were well aware of how stoning-worthy their own hearts were.

So one by one, the crowd slowly turned and walked away.

All of them.

Until Jesus was the only one left with the woman. Perfectly fitting with what He’d said… “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” He alone was sinless. He alone had a right to judge.

Yet the One without sin cast no stones.

Instead He barraged her with grace.

Just like He still does with me.

It doesn’t matter how many accusations are hurled at me. Or how many I throw at myself. It doesn’t matter how far I’ve run, how deeply I’ve messed up, how ashamed I feel.

He casts no stones. No judgment. No condemnation. All He casts is love.

Every single time.

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  • http://www.paulgardner.info/ Paul Gardner

    Agreed… He does not condemn her… or us.

    But

    he does “convict” her (as does the Holy Spirit with us)…

    And effectively

    reminds her that he will return to judge

    “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.

    God’s love is never-ending and comes without strings.
    We cannot earn our salvation that is given by grace.
    But we need to repent to be eligible to receive that unearned grace!

    God bless and thanks for the great post.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/JasonWert JasonWert

      Good point Paul.
      My recent post July 7th: God's day to dink

    • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/gritandglory alece

      i agree.

      the only authentic response to this kind of reckless love and scandalous grace is humble obedience…

      • http://www.compassioncan.blogspot.com JD in Canada

        Beautiful and powerful truth…
        My recent post $41 Fast Food Fast

        • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/gritandglory alece

          thank you, JD.

  • mary kathryn tyson

    alece (and lindsey, effectively),

    thank you so much for this post. i am so, so thankful for the grace and love of christ. we do not have to do anything to earn his unmerited favor but receive it, else it would not be grace. and the only reason for repentance is so we can live the abundant life he promises. how we as christians get it so wrong sometimes! how can we not respond to such love, such grace, such mercy with anything but surrender?

    ugh, thank you, lord. and thank you again, alece (and, effectively, lindsey).

    xo

    • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/gritandglory alece

      reminds me of that verse — "it's His kindness that leads us to repentance…" we don't repent to earn His love but in response to it…

    • http://www.paulgardner.info/ Paul Gardner

      the only reason for repentance is so we can live the abundant life he promises

      Sorry Mary but that's not all that repentence is about. See Jesus' words in Matthew 11:20-24

      20Then Jesus began to denounce the cities in which most of his miracles had been performed, because they did not repent. 21"Woe to you, Korazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! If the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. 22But I tell you, it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgment than for you. 23And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted up to the skies? No, you will go down to the depths.[d] If the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Sodom, it would have remained to this day. 24But I tell you that it will be more bearable for Sodom on the day of judgment than for you."

      God bless
      My recent post Are the Beatitudes About God or About Us?

  • http://charsteyn.blogspot.com Charissa Steyn

    Hey Alece, Loved this simple and beautiful post today! I can never get enough of this reminder- "all he casts is love!" Mmmmmm sooo sooo good!

    • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/gritandglory alece

      a quick link over to your site and i'm all smiles over our south africa connection, charissa!

  • Melissa

    What is dumb-founding is that even if no one else condemns me, I find a way to "drop a rock on my head" condemn myself.

    • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/gritandglory alece

      i do the same thing, melissa. so grateful that God's heart is to protect me even from myself…

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Bianca_Juarez Bianca_Juarez

    1. Your smile is beautiful (with or without your braces!).
    2. As an outsider looking in, I can't imagine why stones would be cast. Your heart and living goal is amazing.
    3. I randomly think of you at the oddest times and pray for you :)
    My recent post scandalous…

    • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/gritandglory alece

      "oddest times" + the first post you ever read at my site = VERY curious! ;)

  • http://theseprices.net Johanna

    Alece, your words are always like balm to my calloused heart. Thank you.

    • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/gritandglory alece

      wow, johanna. thank you…

  • http://www.sarahmarkley.com Sarah Markley

    sweet words, friend.
    My recent post What I Wished I’d Known About Marriage

    • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/gritandglory alece

      thank you, beautiful sarah…

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/JasonWert JasonWert

    When you throw them at yourself, do you throw them into the air first? 'Cause if not you really can't get much speed and power on the throw. ;)

    Seriously, great post Alece.
    My recent post July 7th: God's day to dink

    • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/gritandglory alece

      takes surprisingly less "speed and power" than you'd think for a stone to yield some damage…
      ;)

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  • http://www.jewelsightings.blogspot.com/ Julie

    I spent some time reading this passage the other day. I loved seeing something repeated again. Jesus is not focused on our sins. He is focused on us. He knows who we are. He longs for us to know that too. We ARE crucified with Christ, we no longer live. The life we now live we live by the faith OF the Son of God who loves us and gave Himself for us. It wasn't her sin that captured His heart to free her… it was her. For He relentlessly pursues us with His love. He takes away our old dead life and gives us His new, restored one inside us. The Spirit of the living God chooses to make His home in us. It IS love at it's finest.

    Great post, Alece!

    My recent post The Interwoven Life of Us ©

    • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/gritandglory alece

      you've got some preach in you this morning, julie! bring it, girl! ;)

      i love the way you said that — "it wasn't her sin that captured His heart to free her… it was her." that is beautiful and powerful for my heart to hear.

  • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/angiewashington @ngie

    Hm… beautiful.

    • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/gritandglory alece

      ::smile::

  • http://www.anotherturnofthepage.com nikkie
    • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/gritandglory alece

      still overwhelms me to think about…

  • http://www.theabrahamdiaries.blogspot.com/ Carrie

    Beautiful post. So thankful for God's grace.

    • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/gritandglory alece

      me too, carrie. me too…

  • http://theperkinsblog.net michael

    Beautiful post. I love the visual of Him throwing love & grace at us. What's crazy/amazing is that even when we are too spiritually uncoordinated to catch it He doesn't get frustrated…He keeps throwing.
    My recent post My Mom’s Tooth

    • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/gritandglory alece

      i love that! "He keeps throwing."

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/taminprogress taminprogress

    makes me think of all the years i followed 'man'. all those years living out loud in sin yet curled up in a corner dodging stones from the ones i loved.

    enter in, God…

    all things changed. i still sin…but now i have a Shield from those stones.

    having said that – i am still guilty of casting stones from time to time. but daily work at casting out life-lines instead.

    My recent post 2nd annual fort contest

    • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/gritandglory alece

      made me think of that verse (somewhere) that talks about God surrounding us… such a good visual for my heart to cling to.

      love you, tam.

  • http://silenthearts.wordpress.com Morgan

    As someone who is currently trying to find my way with Christ I truly welcomed this message today. Excellent post Alece (lindsey). Thank you!

    • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/gritandglory alece

      i'm just trying to find my way with Christ too, morgan. grateful to be on this journey together…

      • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/morgsmsquared Morgan

        Definitely beats doing it alone!! :o)

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/ffandhb Chrissy

    Love this, Alece! And you!

    It's funny that even though He's the only one who knows the REAL me, He's also the only one I'm not embarrassed to let see me. I'll try to hide my deepest, darkest short-comings from the rest of the world, and yet I'm not afraid to take those same short-comings to Jesus and ask Him to help me with them.

    It's funny how His love works. Funny, in an amazing kind of way, of course! :)
    My recent post Tuesday Tunes: More Beautiful You

    • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/gritandglory alece

      i can learn so much from you. i'm not so quick to run to Him and bare all my brokenness and shame… i need to be, though.

  • http://www.godsabsolutelove.com patriciazell

    And His love is greater than any evil in this world. When we fully understand the power of God's absolute love (as expressed through Christ) and when we manifest that love to our world, good will overcome evil.

    My recent post #47 THE RETURN OF CHRIST: THE PLOT, PART 2

    • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/gritandglory alece

      A to the MEN!

  • http://Melissabrotherton.com Melissa Brotherton

    Great post Alece! I especially loved how you pointed out that it’s not always others who are the ones picking up the stones. I’m frequently my worst judge. God always is willing to extend me more grace than I give myself. Thanks for this. :)

    • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/gritandglory alece

      i'm definitely hardest on myself. God's teaching me how to extend more grace to myself, that's for sure.

  • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/bahava bahava

    mmm, all he casts is love. what a beautiful picture and such a truth to hold onto!

    • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/gritandglory alece

      my heart is clinging to that today, too, katy…

  • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/jennyrain JennyRain
    • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/gritandglory alece

      i like you. ah-loht.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/trishdavis Trish Davis

    Alece,

    What I love most when you write is this sense of "I'm not crazy for believing in Christ" type of feeling. You see the good in all things even when you shouldn't. As Lindsey said you are extra-ordinary because God constantly uses you to help me remember that HE, Christ is worth fighting for! He is worthy to be praised in all circumstances. I think the more I pursue him the more I understand why he doesn't cast stones and in return I start dropping mine. Thank you for this great reminder! (hug) :)

    • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/gritandglory alece

      you've got me all teary, lopez! thank you for speaking right into my heart tonight.

  • Makeda

    "It doesn’t matter how many accusations are hurled at me. Or how many I throw at myself. It doesn’t matter how far I’ve run, how deeply I’ve messed up, how ashamed I feel. He casts no stones. No judgment. No condemnation. All He casts is love."

    Alece you have no idea how much I needed to hear these words today. Thank you so much for sharing them; they were like honey to my soul. I love you and love your heart so much more than you know.

    Lindsey, have I mentioned yet how much I am loving this series? :) Thanks friend for doing this.

    • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/gritandglory alece

      i love hearing that they were much as for you as they were for me… love you.

  • http://www.anthemofpraise.wordpress.com Randi

    "It doesn’t matter how far I’ve run, how deeply I’ve messed up, how ashamed I feel. He casts no stones. No judgment. No condemnation. All He casts is love. Every single time."

    It's a great reminder. I've struggled with this so often. And I still do. I remember not so long ago being in this woman's shoes… caught up in a lifestyle of sin, on my knees before God just waiting for Him to throw the stones. And He never did. Instead He embraced me. It's an amazing thing the love of God.

    Dang. It's so amazing.
    Blah. Tears. He "casts love. Every single time."

    Hope you're feeling that love tonight friend!

    My recent post State of Emergency – On Our Knees

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/lightchild Grant Jenkins

    This is beautiful, Alece. All He casts is love. Wow.
    My recent post Say What???

    • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/gritandglory alece

      i wish my heart would remember that truth more often…

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/cjsteele Candy

    The stones we throw are so often boomerangs that come back to whump us in the head – but He always picks us right back up again, arms outstretched. Love that grace. Love this post.
    My recent post Tasty Bites: Burrito Bowl

    • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/gritandglory alece

      His arms outstretched is what gets me every time… not accusatory. not angry. but warm. loving. inviting. no matter what…

  • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/kub3294 kub3294

    Wow! This makes me think of all the "bullies" we meet as we wander through life. Starting in childhood. e.g. I have a little bit of a duck walk. I was called "duckie" in grade school & even jr high. It crushed me. I became very self-conscious about it. Even at 52, I catch myself looking down to make sure I'm not walking with my toes pointed out. Even after 40 years I can hear those voices. I think I do because it's a reminder from God how painful that was (and is), so that I think before casting any stones.

    I'm not to the step where I make amends, but I'm already starting to think of the things I need to make right with so many people. The great thing is that once I make the amends, my part is done. If someone chooses not to accept my apology, that is on them. I cleaned my side of the street. It's not in my job description to worry about others' side. Thank goodness! What a freeing experience! No more need to waste energy holding on to all that stuff.

    I must continue moving forward on this awesome journey called life. Repairing & healing takes place along the way. The chaos of the past is cleaned up. The load is lighter.

    • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/gritandglory alece

      hurtful words can cut so deeply… and the sting lingers for a very long time. your perspective is so great, though, even in the face of such hurt. "…so that i think before casting any stones." wow.

      making amends—both apologizing and forgiving—is so freeing. and it has nothing to do with the other person's response. your heart is on an incredible journey right now!

    • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/gritandglory alece

      …why can't i figure out how to find your blog?!

      • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/kub3294 kub3294

        Because it has kind of fallen by the wayside. Was on blogspot, then switched a couple of months ago to WP (free version). I have become more of a commenter than a writer! Don't know why I can be so open & honest as a commenter, but when I want to translate those thoughts into a post? I don't know. It's just strange.

        • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/gritandglory alece

          ahhhh… gotcha. well… if you ever start blogging again, i'd love to read your thoughts…

  • Raisin

    I wish everyone understood this concept….. no matter the sin, no matter the person,just….. no matter.

    Love you.

    • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/gritandglory alece

      "just… no matter." amen.

      His unconditional love and grace is SO hard for my heart to grasp.

  • http://twitter.com/cathistegall @cathistegall

    hello my hearts friend.

    i'd be ok w/ stones…if said stones were marshmallows and somehow chocolate was involved.

    I do believe this is also a story of the chick's stalwart sticktoitiveness – she could have walked away w/ the others…but she stayed right by Jesus' side. I so love how He's all about the relationship.

    *still blinking*
    My recent post Mark & Cathi {1.11.03} here’s to another 100 yrs

    • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/gritandglory alece

      you have no idea how much it means to see your face (and your heart) here. i love you so, decath!

  • http://traceepersiko.wordpress.com tracee

    I love your heart, sweet friend. I love how your truth. I love hearing how he grabs your heart with his word.

    Scripture always amazes me that in every story, I find a part of me in every character. I hve hurled stones from a prideful heart. I have brought things before Jesus to test him. I have stood silent in the crowd when I should have spoken up for what was right. I have not protected the one naked before him. I am the naked one before him too ashamed to make eye contact. No matter where I see myself, God’s love, gentleness, and forgiveness remain. I wish I could believe in the truth of his eyes for me. One I hope to see past a messy me.

    • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/gritandglory alece

      i love the way you broke that down…. i see me in every character as well. and i daily find it hard (impossible at times) to cling to His truth…

  • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/gothiquefae gothiquefae

    Day late but whatever, just saw from Alece's blog that she had posted this here and I. am. stunned.

    "He alone was sinless. He alone had a right to judge.
    Yet the One without sin cast no stones."

    Read that and burst into tears. Beautiful.
    G

    • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/gritandglory alece

      thank you, G. thank you…

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/avalosem Elaina M. Avalos

    Beautiful post, Alece. You manage to say in so few words, just what I needed to hear.

    • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/gritandglory alece

      how ARE you elaina?! thinking of you…

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  • robyn

    Loving this series!!!

    Great posts, uplifting, encouraging, real…

    Just what I needed.

    Robyn

    • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/gritandglory alece

      i've so enjoyed this as well… such richness in the rawness of people's hearts and stories…

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    So great! You always know the right thing to say.