I am part of a class at church called Flourish, which is basic teaching of spiritual truths. Yesterday, the instructor was teaching on condemnation, how it causes us to shrink back. When we shrink back, we can’t give our best or achieve all that we are called to.
He told the story of the woman caught in adultery and how Jesus artfully made the famous statement to her accusers, “He who is without sin, cast the first stone..” Of course most of us know how that ended. They turned and walked away. Then Jesus says to her, “….Neither do I accuse you. Go and sin no more.”
In contrast, I watched a film on Saturday about an Orthodox Jewish woman who was barren. She was living in Jerusalem, and she and her husband were in love with each other. He was forced to leave her, however, and she wasted away in shame… I kept thinking, now I see why Jesus came to save the “lost sheep of Israel”, steeped in religious bondage and life-choking traditions. They represent us all– our huge need for a Savior to set us free from all our life-choking habits and emotions.
He is telling us, “neither do i condemn you, but go and sin no more.” Then he gives us the ability to do that.
I was thinking about another statement made by my instructor yesterday. He said, “Sometimes, when we think that God is angry with us, we are really feeling his jealousy for us. His love for us…” Wow.
How often have we shrunk from the passion of God? I was feeling quite bashful a few days ago because of this very reason. I felt palpably that God loved me and had given me something very special, something i needed right then. I was a bit overwhelmed that the God of the universe would care enough to be so sweet to me. But He is. He is sweet to all of us. And in our ignorance, we misunderstand Him continuously. Let us run, run to know Him better, to learn of Him, to sit at His feet, and as John Sanford would say, “Let the Lord love you.”