Friday, September 10, 2010

How Do I Respond?

It was June 19th...a Saturday.  I was preparing to go on a much anticipated trip to Colorado, where my body would surely come to life in the mountains and cooler air...away from the scorching heat of Texas.  She stopped by the house to visit and during the course of the conversation, informed me that she and her boyfriend had made plans to move in together.  

It was August 1st...a Sunday.  I was relaxing at home after teaching a Sunday school class on our Father's love, followed by an hour of loving on God's precious little ones in the nursery.  I opened my email and listened as she shared a very secret part of her ready to share with me and various others that she has a nearly three-month old daughter.

It was September 9th...a Thursday.  I called to ask a question about her daughter when she burst into tears, leaving me wondering what it was I said.  A few hours later, as we sat in the privacy of my bedroom, she confided her torment of an eight-year emotionless marriage, a recent emotional affair and being abandoned by friends in the process.

Three women, in three months...all dear to my heart...all living a life of sin.  

How should I as a Christian respond?  How do I respond?

In each and every case, God immediately brought to mind the story of the woman caught in adultery (John Chapter 8).  Three specifics phrases, spoken by Jesus, stood out to me.

     1) "Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her."(Vs. 7 ESV)  
         I cannot judge or condemn...for I have sinned. Even one sin disqualifies me.

     2) "Neither do I condemn you" (Vs. 8 ESV)
         Loving like Jesus means offering grace and forgiveness rather than condemnation.

     3) "...go, and from now on sin no more." (Vs. 8 ESV)
         I am not Jesus; nor am I the Holy Spirit.  Telling them to go and sin no more is not my place or responsibility. The Holy Spirit must convict them of their sin and bring them to a place of repentance.   My place is to help my sisters, who are caught in sin, meet Jesus face to face.  I do this by walking beside them; constantly pointing them to Him; teaching them to follow Him, so they will come to the place of sinning no more. 

Father, may I love as Jesus a way that reflects His forgiveness and grace, without condemnation...willing to walk beside...always pointing to Jesus.

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