Are we willing to be wrong in order to be loving?

You may know the story of what Jesus said in response to charges brought against the woman caught in adultery: "Those who are without sin cast the first stone." It is iconic in so many ways and functions for the Church as a standard for forgiveness, grace, mercy and creativity in the face of difficult situations. 

If you continue to read in John chapter 8, Jesus is engaged in a conversation with the powers that be. Here is the tail end of the conversation:

They answered him, ‘Abraham is our father.’ Jesus said to them, ‘If you were Abraham’s children, you would be doing what Abraham did, but now you are trying to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. This is not what Abraham did. You are indeed doing what your father does.’ They said to him, ‘We are not illegitimate children; we have one father, God himself.’ Jesus said to them, ‘If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now I am here. I did not come on my own, but he sent me. Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot accept my word. You are from your father the devil, and you choose to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks according to his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies. But because I tell the truth, you do not believe me. Which of you convicts me of sin? If I tell the truth, why do you not believe me? Whoever is from God hears the words of God. The reason you do not hear them is that you are not from God.’

As you may be picking up in the story Jesus is echoing the story of when Abraham did not kill his son. Abraham may have thought that he heard God's voice tell him to go and kill his son, but when the time came to do that he was confronted with the reality that in fact, God desires mercy and not sacrifice (Hosea 6:6).

The Pharisees and Scribes that are talking with Jesus are so convinced that they are correct in their understanding of the law and of what should happen to the woman caught in adultery and what should happen to Jesus that in their pursuit of being right they were willing to kill others in the name of "being correct". 

Abraham and the Pharisees were both convinced they were right in their understanding of the desire of God. Abraham was humble enough to recognize that he was wrong. The Pharisees were not.

Are we willing to be wrong in order to be loving? Are we able to admit we are wrong when our convictions lead us to kill, destroy, remove, scapegoat, or condemn another? 

As Ghandi said, "I am prepared to die, but there is no cause for which I am prepared to kill."