The First Stone

In Chapter 6 of What Women Fear Angie delves into how our past affects our relationship with Jesus, and the desperate need for us to come to terms with the person we once were in an attempt to move forward in a healthy, current relationship with our Father. She uses the story of the adulterer who was almost stoned in John 8. While the crowd gathered around her and condemned her, Jesus did not; he bent down and wrote in the sand, and asked the crowd if any of them were without sin. Not one of them was without sin, no one uttered a word, and the crowd dispersed. He then told her to go and leave her life of sin (vs 1-11).

I think it's safe to say that each of us has struggled {still struggles} with our past, and probably, at times we feel as though our past is going to "swallow [us] up." But the most important thing we can do is remind ourselves that Jesus loves us the way only a Creator and Father could. He, the "shame-lifter, the God-made-man, the burden-carrier, the lover of my soul," alone offers forgiveness and grace. We beat ourselves up about past decisions and things we wish we could take back, which is not healthy in our spiritual relationship, because the "enemy preys on our memories and regrets, and taunts us with many ways in which we have failed God." Despite our blemished pasts, Jesus can be glorified, because he forgives us and allows us to move forward--walking alongside Him. We must acknowledge that we are forgiven.

My favorite part of this particular chapter is the prayer at the end...
Lord, we struggle to understand what we have done to deserve the love that sees past our sin. We stand before You as men and women who are aware of their transgressions, anticipating the stones but receiving grace instead. Let us remember as we walk away from this place where we came face-to-face with You that we are here to tell Your story. Strengthen us that we may leave our past in the past and commit our futures to You. Help us move past our own fears and inadequacies, and bring people into our lives who can help love us into a place of accepted restoration. We treasure You as the woman did so many years ago, when You bent down to the sand, not to condemn but to convict. Help us to know the difference, and to walk in light of the way You love us even when we don't love ourselves. Bind the enemy when we start to obsess about the past, lest we start to believe Calvary wasn't enough to heal us. Lord, we thank You for the magnitude of the grace which we cannot comprehend.

1 comment:

  1. oh man, I love that last sentence..."thank you for the magnitude of the grace which we cannot comprehend!" so so powerful...


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