Read John 8:4–11
The longer I live the less I know with absolute certainty.
In my younger years, I viewed most things as either black or white. Over the years, my perspective has been transformed—by the seasoning of years, the pain of disappointment, the reality of adversity, and the still small voice of God tempering my long-held convictions.
Now I’m much more uncomfortable with sweeping generalities.
In a stirring scene in John’s Gospel, Jesus meets a woman who had been trapped in the act of adultery by a judgmental group of religious leaders. They dragged her into a public place and put her sin on full display.
These men, despite possessing years of experience under their Pharisaical belts and studying the Hebrew Scriptures, had never been transformed by any of it.
They sneered, “This woman was caught in the act of adultery. The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?” (John 8:4–5).
What a moment! Such a rigid, black-and-white perspective with no room at all for grace and reflection. Enter Jesus:
He stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!”... When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman. (John 8:7, 9)
Notice that none of these accusers considered taking a more balanced and merciful approach. They just walked away. When Jesus asked the woman if any of her accusers had condemned her, she said no. Then Jesus replied, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more” (John 8:10–11).
Now that’s more like it! What will it take for you to drop the rigid, accusing spirit you’ve fostered over all these years and allow God’s Spirit to transform you from within, making you more like Jesus?
Place yourself under the gracious fountain of God’s Word—as you leave your self-crafted, unbending categories at the door. Open your mind and heart to His mercy. Start modelling grace. Let it transform you from the inside out. You’ll love the difference it makes in you. So will everyone around you.
Devotional content taken from Good Morning, Lord...Can We Talk? by Charles R. Swindoll. Copyright © 2018. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a Division of Tyndale House Ministries. All rights reserved.
The full devotional can be purchased at https://www.tyndale.com/p/good-morning-lord-can-we-talk/9781414380681.