Eye Level

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<span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NIV-26389F" style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;" value="(F)”> 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,”<span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NIV-26393H" style="box-sizing: border-box; font-family: Times, 'Times New Roman', serif; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;" value="(H)”> Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”– John 8: 7-11

Why do we beat ourselves up over our flaws? If we claim to be a follower of Christ and mess up, why do we find it hard to forgive ourselves? What is it that makes us think, “There you go again! You horrible, nasty, no good sinner! How can God love you?”

I will tell you now, whatever it is, it isn’t Jesus.

We all have broken aspects of our lives. We all have things we can’t let go of that hinder our perfection and draw us to our knees regularly. Yet, we have a God that kneels down with us and meets us in our mess.

Our fractured selves have no right to be in the presence of perfection, but through His grace, He has made us whole and wholly redeemed in order to be in our presence. 

Can you believe that? Do you believe that?

Although we have been caught in our traps and we have been held captive by our sins. We have a God who comes to our aid and says, “You are redeemed.” He looks into our eyes and says, “I know your pain, your hurt, your flawed view of who you are, but I have come so you know the Truth. I want you to know that I know you and all your potential. Do you trust me?”

You see, the woman caught in adultery had to ask herself that last question: “Do I trust this man?” Jesus had told her to look up and see there is no one there to condemn her and to know that He didn’t hold it against her either. In all her brokenness and mess, He showed grace. His eyes cried mercy as her heart screamed for it. It was received.

However, He told her to “go and sin no more.” Right then and there she had to answer the question, “Do I trust this man?” 

I know in my heart and mind, I would run through the what if’s, “What if I mess up again? Will He be back with a bulldozer full of blocks to drop on me?” or “What if I get up and start walking and I forget to say ‘thank you’, will there be a mob of angels ready to jump me?” You have your what if’s. We all do.

The thing is God doesn’t have His what if’s. He knows. He knows that we will make promises we won’t keep. He knows we will fall asleep praying. He knows we will forget to thank Him for all of our meals. He knows that it really isn’t our last time doing it and even the next twenty times won’t be. He knows all. 

Which is great for us because He still doesn’t condemn us. He holds us accountable. He will keep us in check, but He wants us to keep our eyes on His. As we fall to our knees seeking forgiveness and mercy, He wants us to know He is already kneeling down waiting for us to get to eye level.

Christ came, not to condemn and tear down , but to heal and make whole. He did not come to point out mistakes and say, “See, I told you so! I knew you would mess up and fall! You are horrible, nasty sinners. So, I give up on you.” He came to say “Yes, you’re going to fall, yes you’re a sinner, but I do not condemn you. Walk with me. I am meeting you where you are and you can trust that I won’t change my mind.”

Allow some breathing room. Accept your humanity. Remember, people will put you in the dirt for your mistakes, judge wrongfully, and look down on you. However, God will dust you off, judge righteously, and bring you to eye level.

QUESTION: Do you trust Him to forgive you?

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