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Thursday, October 22, 2015

Lift Up Those Who Have Fallen

In John 8:1-11, we read the story of the woman caught in adultery, or having sexual relations outside of her marriage. It is important to note that adultery is one of the "thou shalt not's" commanded against in the Ten Commandments and had very severe punishments according to the Law of Moses. Therefore the scribes and Pharisees, who were very strict in following the law, brought this woman before Christ to be condemned. They brought her before Christ while He was teaching in the temple, which was a very public place. These men were trying to publicly shame the adulteress for her sins as well as potentially use her as a means to make Jesus look bad. If He forgave her, they could accuse Him of disobeying the law. But if Jesus condemned her, that would go against all that He had previously taught about love, forgiveness and repentance. However, Christ does something they were not expecting. He tells them, "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone" (John 8:7). 
All of them left, with none to accuse her. In His most merciful way, Christ explains "Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more" (v. 11). 

This story has great applications for us today. Every single person we meet, including ourselves, commits sin in one way or another. None of us are perfect yet. Yes, you may have issues with temptations that do not bother me, and vice versa. But, this does not make any one person better than the other. We all struggle and we all feel the despair of sin at times. It is our responsibility not to judge one another, but to lift up and love those around us. A particular application of this that all of us can apply has to do with those who struggle with addiction. There are addictions of every kind running rampant in the world today, and many people struggle with them every day. Some addictions are more visible than others, but all of them hurt. They cause pain in the lives of the addict and their loved ones. It can be hard to accept it when someone we love struggles with an addiction or temptation. But, through the atoning power of Jesus Christ, I KNOW that they can be healed and move forward. A big factor in this healing process is helping them to feel the pure love of Christ, which is charity. We can be instruments in the hands of the Lord to love, support, encourage, and accept those we love for where they are now and see the infinite potential that they have. Judgement only opens wounds; it is pure love that heals them.

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