I sat across the table from a broken friend. Her life was scattered on the coffee shop floor like spilled grounds from the bean machine. Melissa (not her real name) had had an affair, and she finally mustered up the courage to tell me the truth. I knew about some of it, but not all of it. The new details were shocking. Now, what was I going to do with that?
My mind went back to the scene when the Pharisees brought the woman caught in adultery to where Jesus was teaching a crowd.
It was a set up. No doubt about it. The religious leaders had burst into the woman’s home, caught her in the act, and dragged her half-dressed to Jesus. The man she was with, well, they didn’t bother with him.
As they slung her at Jesus’ feet, they posed a question. “In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say? (John 8:5). To those looking on, it might appear that Jesus was caught between a rock and a hard place. But they didn’t realize that since Jesus is the Rock, there is no hard place He can’t handle.
I’m sure it threw them off a bit when Jesus stooped to write in the dirt. Finally, he answered.
“Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her” (John 8:7).
Jesus uncovered their own hearts and left them exposed and spiritually naked before the crowd. Each man standing knew his own life was riddled with sin. The prophet Isaiah, whose writings they knew very well, wrote: “We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way” (Isaiah 53:6). For a man to throw a stone and thus imply that he was without sin would have been the greatest heresy of all.
Isn’t it interesting that the only person qualified to throw a stone at the woman is the One who set her free?
It’s easy to smirk at those self-righteous, pious Pharisees and say, “Ha! Take that!” But what about you and me? When was the last time we threw a stone at someone? Maybe not a literal stone, but a stone-hard judgmental attitude tossed someone’s way? Even the smallest stone is too heavy for us to carry.
The Pharisees brought the woman to be condemned, but Jesus freed her by extending grace. The accusers came to Jesus in self-righteous superiority, but they skulked away in self-defeated shame. The religious leaders put her down like dirt. Jesus looked at her with compassion and lifted her out of it. The accusers became the accused. They came feeling “more than,” but that’s not how they left.
The woman caught in adultery stood before Jesus in disgrace but was met with divine grace.
Even though there was a crowd watching, Jesus zoomed in on one hurting soul that needed His attention. One woman who felt less than because of her past mistakes and failures…just like you and me.
Maybe you haven’t been caught in the act of adultery. Maybe you have. But we all have pages of our stories that we’d like to rip out, sentences we’d like to block out, and chapters we’d like throw out. Know this sister: The splinter of your story that you hate the most does not define the entire narrative…no matter how bad it is. You are more than your worst pages. Why? Because of grace. Click & Tweet!
My friend Melissa was heartbroken over her sin, and so was I. But I had to wonder, am I as heartbroken over my own sin? My sins may be different, but they are still sins. Your sins may be different, but they are still sins. And guess what. God’s forgiving grace is greater than all of it.
Melissa asked God to forgive her, and He responded with grace. It’s the same with you and me. John wrote, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
When it comes to God’s forgiveness…His is the stone not thrown. That’s the kind of grace that I want to extend to others. I think you do, too.
Jesus, thank You for Your forgiving grace that takes our place. Help me to extend the same mercy to others that You have extended to me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Are you holding any rocks in your hand right now? If so, what do you need to do with it?
My book, How Jesus Broke the Rules to Set You Free has been revised and updated! The new title is NEVER LESS THAN: Living Esteemed, Empowered, and Equipped When the World Tells You Otherwise. If you’ve ever felt less than because of your past, your present circumstances, or your gender as a woman then this book is for you! This is a message that your daughters and granddaughters need to hear. Get your copy today. Click here for a FREE download of 25 Ways Jesus Honored Women.
I loved your story and would love to get your new book Never Less Than. I have read 2 of your books and have thorough enjoyed them.
I unexpectedly lost my job Jan 4 2022. I have struggled with maintaining employment since retirement from the military. I sometimes question what is my worth. Since it seems like I am not able to maintain a job. Makes me feel as if the world is right that good people finish last.
Lifting you in prayer. Doors will open abundantly for you soon 🙏🏽🙏🏽
I’m so sorry you are going through that! My family has actually dealt with my father’s unemployment many times: and God has been our Provider every single time. We have never lacked food or clothing!
In the Psalms, David cries out countless times when he sees the evil triumphing over the wicked, but every time it is followed by his choice to trust God even in the midst of the trouble. God has a special love for those who are disappointed and broken-hearted, and know the He is with you!
I will pray that you will not lose heart, and that God will provide all your needs. ❤️
Thank you Sharon for this very timely reminder. A weight off my shoulders.
Thank you for this message today. For It seems as tho God gives us at the right time.
In March of 2020 I met a man online that I thought was the answer to my broken heart and lonely life. I was an extremely vulnerable widow. My dear husband of 46 yrs had passed away in Feb 2020. Long story short, over the course of a year I sent this man all the money my husband had left me, to the tune of $200k. I wouldn’t listen to any of my friends who warned me I was being scammed. I was in love and believed all of his promises of a bright future together. When I finally found out the truth that he WAS a scammer, I was devastated and penniless. I know God has forgiven me, but I still struggle with forgiving myself. I am suffering the consequences of my sin financially and with the loss of a dear friend who won’t speak to me. How can I ever truly be free of my deep regrets?!
Should I seek counseling with one of my pastors (she’s a kind woman and knows nothing of all of this.)? Thank you for this message today. God Bless you, Sharon!
God bless you, sweetheart. I’m praying for you. He is still on The Throne. Any shame you carry is A LIE! His Blood has not weakened. All is well. (((HUGS)))
You are loved with an Everlasting Love 💕
I hear your pain and feel so sorry that someone took advantage of you when you were so vulnerable. I truly hope and pray that your dear friend will eventually reach out to you in love and forgiveness. You need her support, not her condemnation. I am sure that you have asked for the Lord’s forgiveness. If so, He has forgiven you and there is no condemnation from Him. Forgiving ourselves is not easy and is harder than forgiving others. I think the reason it is harder to forgive ourselves is because there is guilt and shame attached to our mistake or sin. We need to work though our issues of guilt and shame before we can truly forgive ourselves. Remember, no one is perfect and there have been plenty of other ladies who have fallen victim to unscrupulous people too. I do hope you will seek the support and counsel from one of your pastors. You need to speak with someone as bottling up this secret will destroy you which is what the enemy wants to happen. I have done things I have been ashamed of and regretted too, but when I reached out to my pastor I felt so much better. Please know you are deeply loved by God and He wants you free from this burden.
God has already forgiven u. Find peace in your spirit n take it to the Lord in prayer one day at a time. Lord Jesus put your hands in her hands n walk with her Father letting her know that u are her strength n u are her first love. Peace be with u my dear
I am so sorry for what you went or are going through. I also was in your shoes but not lose financially to him but lost my innocence. I got clinically depressed because I couldn’t forgive myself and suffered from that encounter. I have always been careful and had dreams and desire to lose my innocence with a man of God and with the one I love. I even made a promise to God. I was not taking meds and running away from my immediate family when all that happened. I wanted to die and kill myself. It’s how much I was remorseful to God and valued my virginity but I was a blind fool. This happened 15 years ago. I’ve finally healed and recovered from my ordeal. Yes, I encourage you to talk to a godly person. For me, I talked to my pastor’s wife. She’s a sister in Christ and Spiritually wise so I felt comfortable with her. God is a loving God and loves us unconditionally. He will heal your broken wounds and shame.
Hi Sharon. Your devotional page came up on my phone this morning. I can so relate to you. I was so lost for a long time until I met Jesus and received salvation. He rescued me from my mistakes and taught me how to walk with Him and leave all the junk behind. He is the Love that filled the emptiness I had, but didn’t know I had. He gave me peace and honor where fear, turmoil and restlessness had been. I am a new creature in Christ. I cannot express in words my gratitude and joy for what the Lord has done for me. Thank you for being a sister in the Lord, who knows what I am talking about. Love to you.
Wow. Thank You Jesus for giving me the exact words I needed to hear this morning. Last night I took my 16 yr old daughter’s phone before she could hide her recent activity. I found inappropriate pictures and texting that she has been engaged in with a boy from school. We are at the end of a vacation. Today I have the final 5 hour drive to our home. It will be just she and I. My husband passed away 2 yrs ago. Right now we are at my cousin’s home. When she came into my room last night scared and crying about consequences of getting caught – I told her that she wouldn’t be getting her phone any time soon. I told her I am not angry but I just need to think and pray about the situation before making any decisions about how I will handle the situation. I just woke up, got my coffee, opened my phone and before I could go to my daily Bible reading plan , I saw your name in my inbox and cli ked on it. This devotion was really on point. I am glad I didn’t grow up in this age of texting and social media and cameras everywhere. I most definitely would have been in trouble. I have no stones. I still don’t know how to handle the situation, but Jesus does. I told my daughter that I won’t be discussing this situation with her until sometime after we get home. I have about 300 miles to pray about it today and listen to the Holy Spirit. I am going to be looking for opportunities to help her strengthen the valuable characteristics she has so that the attention seeking, needy characteristics die. Thank you for a perspective of Truth
Praying for wisdom for you. How good is God’s timing!
What a blessed way to begin a new year! Thank you. Much needed devotion!
Love this lesson!! Thanks!
Sharon- please re-read the last paragraph. On my phone it says « when the WORD tells you otherwise. ». I think you meant WORLD? It’s the title of your book you r referencing.
Yikes! Just changed it. Thank you!
Sharon good morning. To say I’m always touched by your writing is an understatement. You write such wonderful words and I think you’re incredible. Your message always is at the best time in my life. I’m pretty sure you won’t take the credit but you know God and His word and share it so seamlessly. I just want to thank you for your help and sharing
Thank you, Barbara. I will treasure your words!
Hey I had enough stones to make an alter to God!!! It was a good use of the stones. And now I have a place to go and pray about those feelings of judgement. And I can add more stones as I need too!
Sharon, Thank you for this powerful word. I’ve found myself on both the giving and the receiving end of rock throwing. Neither are good, both are heavy and damaging. The reminder of God’s grace is on point. Last year was definitely a time of giving and receiving grace. This lesson is a great reminder to lean solely on The Rock – Christ Jesus! Thank you. Blessings to you!
Thanks Sharon!!It’s good to remind us about this.Many times we tend to forget that we cann’t throw stones to anyone because that same stone can be thrown to us.
Thank you for this message of Grace. I am actually guilty of this but failed to realise my several imperfections as well. I let it all off now by the grace of God.
God bless and keep you for dishing out these two-edged swords- words of God.