The Lord has been putting something on my heart so vehemently that He’s been challenging me with and changing in me and today, I wanted to share that word because I believe it may challenge, encourage, and strengthen you too!
My dear pastor at our church C3KW has often challenged us by begging the question, “How often are you weeping over your own sin?”
Jesus has really been bringing this down into my heart lately and showing me how much this is actually such a pinnacle of the Gospel. He’s been making it all the more real now that I have a little boy.
How often, with my husband, friends, etc. am I confessing and repenting of my OWN sin vs. pointing out the sin in others?
How often am I asking forgiveness for my mistakes, asking for accountability and help to change, vs. complaining about the mistakes of my neighbours?
The Gospel of John, Chapter 8 illustrates exactly what I’m talking about.
But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.
At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.
But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.
At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
“No one, sir,” she said.
“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”
Why does Jesus tell this story?
What does it do inside of you when you read it?
For me, it makes me feel ICKY about my own sin. It makes me like, Wow. How often do I point out other people’s sin, in my mind, to my husband, to friends, but not confess and repent of my own?
So much of Scripture, of Jesus’ life and the way He lived it, points us to this Truth of getting right with God and not sitting in a judgement seat. Part of receiving Jesus is humbling ourselves to see our sin, our ugliness, and how desperately we need a Saviour. We are no better than anyone else, and how dare we ever think so or sit on a high horse. It could only be grave insecurity that would lead us to spend our time picking apart those around us when really, at least deep down, we know we are no better ourselves.
If it weren’t for Jesus, I’d be running to vices, too.
If Jesus didn’t step in, my pride would swallow me up.
If Jesus hadn’t paid the price for MY sin, where would I be?
We know this. We know how broken we are.
The world paints a picture that we should believe in ourselves and in how awesome we are.
But we know deep down that we can’t believe in ourselves because we make mistakes and have corrupt thoughts, and, if we’re honest, we’re not awesome.
So we’re left confused.
Admitting to my sin, letting myself be broken, and asking Jesus to heal me showed me that I want to live for HIS glory and not my own. I don’t want to be glorified because my name is not worthy. Only His is.
I also don’t want to speak down on any one of His precious children, pointing out their sin, grumbling about it. Now, it’s a different thing entirely to lovingly call a brother or sister in Christ out of sin. I would want my own friends to call sin out in my life so I could repent and turn from it if I was ignorant to it or being disobedient about it. That’s called being a friend.
But, if we think we’re being so holy for pointing out sin in others, our attitude is likely actually that of the Pharisees who, in this text, brought the woman caught in adultery to Jesus. What if the Pharisees had come to Jesus, weeping over their own sin, confessing it to Him? How beautiful would this have been? How right and proper and good? THIS is the relationship we ought to have with Jesus. One of deep repentance.
“When I survey the wondrous cross on which the Prince of Glory died, my richest gain I count but loss and pour contempt on all my pride.” I mean, this is the song of our hearts when we do truly survey that wondrous cross.
So friends, let’s weep over our own sin, not theirs. Let’s make ourselves right before God, letting Him change and transform us and letting Him do the same for others without scoffing at them. Let’s celebrate victory over sin with our peers and point them back to Christ in love when they fall. And let’s do it all for His glory.