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Nov 23

Cut Resentment Cultivate Freedom

Posted on Wednesday, November 23, 2011 in Uncategorized

Jesus was a the temple one day and a crowd of people gathered. Jesus sat down and began to teach them.  As he was speaking, in the middle of his lesson, a group of religious people rushed up to Jesus dragging along a woman who had been cheating and was caught having sex with him.

Ahem, let me repeat that CAUGHT IN THE ACT of adultery.  

Two things stand out here for me.  One, the incredible shame and humiliation of being interrupted, caught, captured, paraded and “posterized” as an adulterer.  Second, if she was “caught”, where’s the guy she was with?!?

The irony, horror, and hypocrisy run rich through this taudry scene.      

“Teacher,” they demanded, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery. We interpret the law says she deserves the death penalty, what do you say?”

Knowing that they were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, Jesus calmly knelt down and began doodling in the dust. Seeming to ignore them, they kept demanding an answer. Finally, Jesus stood up and said, “It’s the law, but whoever has never sinned has to throw the first stone!”

With that, Jesus knelt down again and resumed writing in the dirt.

When her accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, because they knew better.  Finally, only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman.

Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman,“Where are your accusers? No one stayed to condemn you?”
“No, Lord,” she said.
And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.

Paul Thyren, when explaining why he included this story wrote, “What did the author want to communicate? How blind we are. Jesus communicates these crystal clear concepts & we completely miss them & miss out on the freedom that he offers if we would just listen.”

This Thanksgiving week I am making some cuts in my life. 

I am trying to cut resentment and cultivate freedom.  There is freedom in letting go of our judgments of others.  This morning in fact, one of my first thoughts of the day, before I even got out of bed, was of someone who had wronged me.  Resentment is a trap I want to continue to find freedom from.

Like most hard things I have to do it life it help to remember it will be hard, it will hurt and it will have to involve God.  So I pray and ask for God’s help, but then I also have to take action.

I need to remember the “three needs” we talk about every week at TreeHouse.
– We all want to know that we’re lovable, capable and worthwhile.
– We all want to know that we are not alone.
– We all want to know that we are loved “without strings” (unconditionally).

As TreeHouse teens reminded us all last night, when you remember that everyone at your Thanksgiving gathering is lovable, capable and worthwhile, we can make healthy, loving choices.

We can choose to respect people you don’t like.
We can choose to be kind.
We can choose to share your experiences with one another.
We can choose to bring happiness.
We can choose to tolerate your differences.
We can choose to give everyone hugs.
We can choose to talk things out rather than stuff your annoyances.
We can choose to forget the drama.
We can choose to forgive the guilty.

I’m gonna cut resentment and cultivate freedom, wanna join me?!?

 

That story is found in John’s gospel — John’s biography of Jesus Christ — chapter 8.

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