In the beginning of John 8, Jesus teaches us one very big lesson.
We can't judge others unless we are pure and blameless.
We can't judge anyone for their sins and wrongdoings because we fall short time and time again.
Jesus tells the men; "Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her".
But Jesus doesn't condemn the woman either - He forgives her, just like He forgives us - and He tells her to go and leave her life of sin.
Jesus extends His forgiveness to us and there is a huge lesson to be learnt from Christ's attitude towards us. We too should forgive and accept others.
I know what you're thinking; the person you have in your mind doesn't deserve forgiveness..... but do we? Jesus wiped the slate clean and forgave all of our sins - and we definitely didn't deserve it.
Only God can judge us - we can't judge others because we have no right to. The Bible tells us that instead, we need to love others - and we also need to forgive and accept them.
Whilst there are so many things to be learnt through this chapter (and I encourage you to read it in full), this is what I want to focus on this week; forgiveness.
Why? Because in order to receive forgiveness for our sins, we too need to forgive others. Forgiving others allows us to overcome feelings of anger, bitterness or revenge which steer our hearts in the wrong direction - and forgiveness can heal spiritual wounds and bring the peace and love which only God can give.
In every setting, Jesus was the example and mentor for His disciples - and for us. He taught them how to pray by praying with them, He taught them how to love and serve by loving and serving them - and He taught them how to forgive by forgiving them.
It says in Mark 11:25 "And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins". God is extremely clear about forgiveness - He tells us time and time again to forgive! In Luke 6:37, we are told "Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven".
God is telling us that it is in our own best interest to forgive. By forgiving others, we heal ourselves.
He isn't telling us what is in the best interest of the person who needs to be forgiven - we are the ones who He is trying to protect. We are the ones who receive the most benefit from forgiveness. When we hold a grudge or seek revenge on another it complicated and compromises our daily walk with Him.
Forgiving releases us from anger and allows us to receive the healing we need. The whole reason God tells us to forgive others is because He doesn't want anything to stand between us and Him. His love for us is beyond anything we can imagine. He doesn't want us to live the life of an unforgiving heart.
Forgiveness does not justify the deed or the person. It doesn't provide God's forgiveness for their actions (only He can do that). Whilst there isn't anything that can undo the past - we can do something about the present and future. By forgiving those who wrong against us, our own healing can begin.
This week's inspiration downloads:
Click on the link to download the image :)