I’d like to say that I don’t judge myself, but I do. I keep track of what I’ve done right and the things that I’ve done wrong. If I slip up it throws all of the “good things” away and I am forced to start all over again. It’s a scorekeeper lifestyle and it goes directly against what the gospel stands for. What’s more is that it goes directly against what Jesus stands for and against His character.
This means that somebody or something is whispering in my ears these lies and I’ve got a hunch at who that could be. The Jesus I know doesn’t do that.
Actually, scratch the “hunch”. I know who it is. It’s Satan. The accuser. The liar. The prince of darkness. He takes all of my shortcomings and throws them in my face. He says, “Ha! You’re not as good as you think you are!” or “You’ll never be able to _______”. He craves to make you feel less than you are. It’s what he lives for.
Jesus says the opposite. He craves for you to feel like royalty. After all, you are the son/daughter of the King of Kings, right?
In John 8:1-11 the scribes and the Pharisees bring a woman caught in the act of adultery to Jesus. They go on telling Jesus of what He should do and what the law says He should do, but He remains silent. The people are screaming, “stone her!” Yet, not a sound was made as He bends down and writes with his finger in the sand.
Silence was in the air.
Amazement was hovering, as the man who claimed to be the King of the world said nothing.
He stood up and said, “Let him who is without sin among you cast the first stone at her.”
What a statement. He didn’t stand up and call people out one by one. He didn’t stand up and condemn everybody nearby. He didn’t even raise his voice or get flustered at all. His calmness was unsettling, I can assure you.
You can probably guess what happened after that. The people left one by one. They realized that they are no better than she. They left with a head full of thoughts, conviction and questions about the way they treat people. They, witnessing what they did, were forced to reevaluate how they thought of one another. (Which is brilliant on Jesus’ part).
Pretty soon it was just the Savior and the adulteress standing in each other’s midst. She can’t move and she can’t speak. She’s in awe that a man would treat her in such a way. A way that’s different from anything she has ever known. Worlds apart from the way the men in her life have treated her. At that moment she was no longer as object but a child. She was no longer condemned but loved.
The story goes on to tell us that the dialogue went like this:
Jesus: Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?
Adulteress: No one, Lord.
Jesus: Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.
Today, don’t let anyone condemn you. Don’t let Satan or his workers. Don’t let your friends or family. But most of all, don’t let yourself.
Because Jesus doesn’t.