DAY 9: PUT DOWN THAT ROCK - 12 September 2019

By Benescke Janse van Rensburg

The court proceedings in Vanderbijlpark on Monday had the country talking again. For the first time, photos of the blonde school teacher was published after her arrest. She was identified as the mastermind behind the abduction of 6-year-old Amy-Leigh.

There were tears inside and outside the court. On social media, the condemnations, gossip and even uninformed conclusions shocked me. However, what touched me deeply was a photo of Amy-Leigh's grandfather who embraced the arrested teacher's sobbing father, 66, on the steps outside the court. This photo was taken minutes after the teacher's father apologized to Amy-Leigh's family, the community and even the country for what happened.

I couldn't help but put myself in the man's shoes for a moment - an elderly man whose life changed radically without having any hand in it. How would I want people around me to handle the situation? Would the insensitive comments hurt me? How would I feel if I had to look at my child being the accused in court?

In Matthew 7: 5, Jesus says, “First take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” In John 8: 7, we read of the woman who was caught in adultery and brought to Jesus. By law, she had to be killed, but they wanted to test Jesus and asked for His opinion on the matter. He replied, "Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”

The kidnapping was wrong and justice must be served, but let us remind ourselves that God is the Righteous Judge, not us. The next time we are tempted to engage in gossip stories or jump to a conclusion about the difficult colleague at work, the moody neighbour or sloppy man in line in front of us, let us think twice by putting ourselves in their shoes.

Let's put down the stones and remove the plank from our eyes first. Let us as believers bring light and salt to the world around us who desperately needs it. God bless.

Father God, thank you so much for Your grace You have shown to me. Help me to put a guard in front of my mouth rather than engaging in gossip or condemning conversations. I ask this in the Name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

• See a photo of Amy-Leigh's grandfather embracing the arrested teacher's father at or on Stories van Hoop on Facebook.

Feedback: For feedback on the series or if you would like to share your testimony about something God has done in your life, please send me an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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