Have you ever read the story of the woman caught in adultery in the bible? Although I've heard it a thousand times, I’m not sure if I ever implanted myself in that story – who would I be in this scenario? Am I the woman about to be stoned or the Pharisee about to exercise the law over someone’s choices, or am I Jesus who sees both the Pharisee and the woman as equals?
There have been plenty of times when I have been the adulterer. My inappropriate behavior(example whispering "that's what she said" repeatedly through a Sunday Sermon)has made me the the subject of public shaming. My faults in my divorce lead me to this as well.
A few months after the divorced, I started dating Mark. He made me feel giddy and I liked him almost instantly. Shortly after Mark and I started dating, I received a phone call laced with uneasyness from him. Prestonwood, a church I had once called home, had contacted Mark to warn him of the dangers of Satan's mistress a.k.a. ME. I was humilitated. They bashed me and shamed me to a man I barely knew. The pastor did not literally try to kill me, but he tried to kill my reputation and sense of worth by casting stone after stone through the phone as he spoke to my recent beau. He told all of my sin all the while failing to see the sin he was doing in that exact moment. He had become the Pharisee.
When we become the Pharisee in the story,it becomes so easy to go from questioning the adulterer's behavior to actually hating, demeaning them, throwing them out in the dust and gathering up stones to kill them. I, too have been guilty of becoming the Pharisee in past situations. I have looked down to see rocks in my own hands.
When we become the Pharisee, we look down at the adulterer and see their salvation hanging in the balance of our own determination, as if somehow we make the call. When we start to think that way, "Salvation" depends not upon Christ's perfection and obedience, but on some strange set of rules combined from your upbringing and proof-texting.
If my salvation was based on works, I would be doomed to an eternity apart from my savior. You would be too. As Christians we have freedom in Christ. No, not freedom to act like heathens and sin openly without accord. But, rather a freedom to know that when we fail (which will happen everyday) God will not throw us out like a baby with the bath water. The failure to remember that God’s pleasure in us comes outside of us (in Christ) causes the heart to forget that God sings over us because of the work He has done, not because of what we have done (Zeph. 3:15-17).
Preacher, Tim Keller said, "You are more wicked than you ever imagined and more loved and accepted than you ever hoped--that is the gospel".