We have all asked ourself this question before. The tragedy is when we believe the answer. I can’t believe the stories I heard in Panama of the girls who believed what some simpleton said about them. People have no idea the lasting effects of their words. Word’s have the power to build confidence or break it down. The question is whose words are you listening to?
In John 8:1-11, we witness a defining moment in a young woman’s life. People said horrible things about her. They had “caught her” and used the truth like a branding iron to mark her. I am so moved by Jesus’ reaction to the situation. He speaks with such wisdom and confidence. He speaks to her accusers and addresses the very core of their motivation; Self-Exaltation.
Yes, Jesus, author of all things true and good, reminds us in this passage that the truth is His tool. He uses the truth to set us free not to beat us into the ground. He reminds our accusers, (all the people who need to feel better than someone else so they judge people not like them for being too fat, or too funny looking, or not cool enough, or not smart enough, or not spiritual enough, etc.) that they are not the measuring stick for rightness, He is. Ironically enough its not what He says to the “bullies” that makes the biggest splash in this young woman’s life.
As each accuser dropped their stones and walked away, I can only imagine how her confidence grew. She had been ridiculed in front of the world, embarrassed, and shamed, but now she was faced with the freeing reality that those that once stood over her in judgement with their defining words may have actually been wrong. How sobering to watch them all walk away. I can imagine the turmoil raging within her mind, although her accusers had been silenced she was conscience of her own guilt, and had already begun seeing herself through the words others used to define her. Nevertheless, finding herself face to face with Jesus, He declared forgiveness and freedom over her, giving her permission to “go and sin no more” or, believe what I said about you instead of what the world has said about you.
Know this, “they” will always say things about you. That’s what “they” do. Fill in the blank for “they”. Could be a relative, a sibling, a boyfriend or girlfriend, someone at school, or down the street, no matter who they are, they don’t have the final word. He does. The good news is this, He doesn’t condemn you. What may be true to them and even to you, in your mind, isn’t truth if He says so. He is truth, and if He says “neither do I condemn you” then you are not guilty, you are innocent and you are free. Given the chance, why live any other way but free.
This week, find Jesus everyday. Listen to what He says about you. Believe it, and be confident. Confident that His definition of who you are is better than anybody else’s including your own.
Celebrate your freedom with confidence.