Dave Robertson is the Director of Community Life at The Church of the Resurrection’s West Campus.
I love the story about Jesus and the woman caught in the act of adultery for so many reasons. The greatest one is that Jesus models for us once again how we should be as Christ-followers.
I’m a pretty idealistic guy. In my younger days in ministry, I was really idealistic. I always have high expectations of myself and of others. If you don’t expect anything, you usually won’t get anything. That being said, people failing to live up to your expectations was something I had to deal with. Sometimes I could come across as being judgmental.
My senior pastor, a man named Glenn Vickers, gave me some great advice I’ll never forget and try to apply often. Glenn said, “Love people for who they are, not for who you want them to be.” I’ll never forget those words.
As I look at this story of Jesus and the woman caught in the act of adultery, Jesus asks her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you. Go now and leave your life of sin.”
Jesus loved her for exactly who she was at that moment. He didn’t first ask her, “Okay, do you promise not to do this anymore? If you don’t, then I’ll love you.”
Jesus gave us the supreme example of a God who loves us right where we are right now. Yes, God does call us beyond where we are right now. God is constantly calling us to be what God created us to be, made in the image of God. Jesus, in Matthew’s Gospel, says, “Be perfect, just as your heavenly father is perfect.” God has great plans for us. But God doesn’t wait to start loving us until after we get our life together. God loves us right where we are and is always on the ready to move forward with us. Anything other than God loving us right where we are isn’t love. Is there really such a thing as “conditional” love? God’s love is unconditional. Thanks be to God!
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