We may not always enjoy it when they call our hand, but their presence gives us a sense of peace we wouldn’t otherwise enjoy.
Police sometimes have the unpleasant duty of enforcing the laws of the area they police. If I break a particular law and am caught, I have several options. I can deny I did it. In America, I have the right to a jury trial. On the other hand, I can admit my infraction and forego the above process. But I can also let what I’ve done identify me for the remainder of my life.
In Jesus’ scenario, the law in question was adultery. A woman had broken it, and the law said she should be stoned. The religious cops were quick to take advantage of the situation. Jesus, however, was swift to capitalize on the woman’s future rather than her past. Rather than condemning her, he offered her a bright future if she would follow his directive.
From the moment of my birth, I am a sinner—a lawbreaker. Time bears out my lawbreaker nature. When I understand my character—and see its fruits, I have several choices. I can deny reality by denying my sin. I can call it by less offensive names, but denying its reality doesn’t change anything. God says all have sinned (Romans 3:23).
I can hate myself because of my sins. God hates my sin, but he doesn’t hate me. Failing to understand this leads to confusing the two. Life becomes miserable and dead-ended when I think God hates me for my sins and that I should hate myself as well.
Facing my sin could even involve succumbing to what the “religious cops” say. They label me according to what my sin was. For this woman, it was adultery. For me, it could be sex offender, wife abuser, drunk, addict, or any other number of labels.
Yet, the only proper way to confront my sin is to confess and release it. Forgiveness comes when I do, and freedom follows it. Like the woman, I can hear Jesus repeatedly say, “Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more.” My label is “Forgiven.”
How are you attempting to confront your sin?
Prayer: God of mercy and grace, we thank You for the promise of Your forgiveness.