“‘No one, Lord,’ she answered. ‘Neither do I condemn you,’ said Jesus. ‘Go, and from now on do not sin anymore.’”
Trouble, Trouble, Trouble
I remember a second grade experience where a fellow classmate—who often was a ringleader in causing trouble in our room—encouraged us to play “copycat” and do what he did when the teacher left the room. Of course, the teacher came back and caught most of us. She asked if there were others of us who had been out of our seats and followed the leader.
That Old Familiar Shame
I didn’t like the idea of being punished because I was honest when others were not. I suppose the lady in our Scripture today didn’t like being accused of adultery so publicly. The crowd around her was making malicious comments and talking about her questionable reputation. I’m sure she felt ashamed. She didn’t need any chastisement.
Did you notice that Jesus acknowledged her sin as He asked where her accusers were? But He also told her to go home and discontinue her previous habits. Jesus did not ignore or make light of her sin; rather, He addressed it and told her to “go and sin no more.”
What About You?
When you have done something wrong, do you regret it? Are you one who acknowledges it quickly? Do you ask for forgiveness? Do you try to make amends and apologize to the people whom you may have hurt?
One of the most difficult actions we must make in the Christian walk is to acknowledge and change bad habits. So, here are some things to consider as you kiss your sin and shame goodbye…
First, do an inventory of your life and be honest with yourself. Are there behaviors you need to change? Are there resources you should consult which can help you? Consider talking with a counselor or minister for advice or guidance. Next, pray to God, asking Him for strength to make positive changes in your life. Then, ask church friends or leaders to help guide you to people who can help you stay on the right path.