One of my favourite stories in all of Scripture must be the story of the woman caught in adultery. Not because of the opening. The opening is a despicable scene where a group of religious leaders drag out a woman, publicly humiliate her and use her as a pawn in an attempt to discredit Jesus.
The action of the religious elite has nothing to do with the heart of God.
Jesus on the other hand sees the woman. He sees the broken person who has made a bad choice, but He refuses to keep Her trapped in her shame.
In the words of the author and speaker Bob Goff , “No book is a chapter, no chapter tells the whole story, no mistake defines who we are.”
This woman is more than a single chapter in her life and so, for that matter, are you.
If you have been haunted by an offence in your past, a moment of weakness, or a careless word – then you know the pain that this woman feels. Perhaps you’ve hurt someone because you were at your lowest and you wanted someone else to hurt with you, or you chose the most comfortable option for yourself knowing that this would have a negative effect on others, and now you consistently feel defined by that chapter of your life.
If that is you, then it’s important to hear the words of Jesus to the woman in this story. After Jesus challenged the religious elite with their own sin, they depart, leaving only Jesus and this woman. At which point He turned to her and said,
“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”.
I suspect He would say the same thing to you. He would say you are not defined by any one chapter in your life, so go, and write a new, better chapter.