On Monday, I posted an entry about playing the roll of the woman at the well in a sketch at an evening worship service on Sunday night. I had a lot of positive feedback from readers, and I fully believe that the post came from my heart, was inspired, and had meaning.
But I’ve wrestled with a concept from the post all week…
The woman at the well from the New Testament account in John 4 is described as a woman who has had several husbands but who lives now with a man who is not her husband. Images of this woman immediately come to mind when we hear about her past…and her present.
I have a picture of who this woman would be – with lots of variations of poor choices and decision – in modern day, and I find myself judging her.
I let myself off the hook a bit when I judge her in this way.
I think to myself: surely I am not like her. I have not sinned in the same ways that she has. Six men? That is not my story!
And I find myself elevating myself above her.
Who gave me any right to judge her? Who gave me any right to say that I am better than someone who sins differently than I do? And whose idea was it that some sins are worse than others?
My story is filled with its own character flaws, poor decisions, and bumps along the way. My sins are no better or worse than hers or anyone else’s. We do a huge disservice to others and to God when we create levels of sin. We negate the idea that Christ died once for all because we have all sinned.
Romans 3:21-24 – 21But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22 This righteousness is given through faith in[h] Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
This was a humbling week for me to think through this. I needed to have a little talk with God about it. And I needed to remind myself that my sin – however big or small my human mind decides it compares to the sin of others - would enough to send Jesus to the cross.