Neither do I.
Those 3 words mean EVERYTHING to me.
At dawn He went to the temple complex again, and all the people were coming to Him. He sat down and began to teach them. Then the scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman caught in adultery, making her stand in the center.
“Teacher,” they said to Him, “This woman was caught in the act of committing adultery. The law Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do You say?”
They asked this to trap Him, in order that they might have evidence to accuse Him.
Jesus stooped down and started writing on the ground with His finger.
When they persisted in questioning Him, He stood up and said to them, “The one without sin among you should be the first to throw a stone at her.”
Then He stooped down again and continued writing on the ground. When they heard this, they left one by one, starting with the older men. Only He was left, with the woman in the center. When Jesus stood up, He said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
“No one, Lord,” she answered. “NEITHER DO I condemn you,” said Jesus. “Go, and from now on do not sin anymore.”
When I got saved at 12 years old, I was forgiven for every sin past, present and future. When Jesus went to the cross and died for me, His blood covered me and sealed me forever as His girl. When you’ve lived the life that I’ve lived, and witnessed the evil things that man is capable of, and done what I’ve done, the shades of guilt and shame are overwhelming and suffocating. The darkness can be excruciating. It is a daily battle to “believe” what Jesus says about love, salvation and forgiveness. It can sometimes feel like His love and forgiveness are for “those” people – not me.
After all, you don’t know what I’ve done!
Some of the things were done to me. True. I wonder about the girl in this passage. A girl doesn’t wake up one day and say, “I’d like to have sex with a bunch of people who don’t really love me or care about me.” What happened in her life to get her to where she was standing in the middle of a crowd CONDEMNED as they enthusiastically waited to stone her for her sins?
Some of the things I did as a result of what was done to me-human response and conditioning. If you are told over and over that you’re unloved and treated as piece of meat without value, it then becomes engrained into your heart and mind that all of that IS true. Therefore, it becomes your truth. This girl was involved in a lifestyle that screamed, “I KNOW that I’m worth NOTHING! Therefore I deserve nothing.” – SELF CONDEMNATION!! That was her truth.
Other things, sadly, were just my own choice to sin. This girl was “caught IN the act” – actively participating in sin. And now her sin and shame was on display for all to judge and condemn.
If you’ve lived on this earth, there is no doubt that, at some point, you have been “condemned” by others.
To CONDEMN someone means to express an unfavorable or adverse judgment on; strong disapproval of and to pronounce one to be guilty-sentenced to punishment.
Jesus Christ knows how it feels to be condemned. He understands being put on display and judged. He was the only one without sin, yet they CONDEMNED Him. The only reason He went to the cross was to pay our debt. When you have a relationship with Jesus, you ARE forgiven. You are no longer condemned.
So WHY do YOU constantly keep condemning yourself? It’s horrible when others condemn us. It’s WORSE when we do it to ourselves. How sad it is to carry that condemnation “crud” around when it cost Jesus SO much to take it away.
You may find yourself standing on display at the center of your sin, with fellow sinners clenching the rocks that they can’t wait to chuck at you, cheering for you to be stoned-demanding that you be condemned.
YOU might be the loudest one screaming…”Stone me. I deserve it!”
But Jesus is the only one who has the authority to condemn us.
No matter where you find yourself today, there is One who stands for you, with you, never leaving you, never lying to you, never betraying you, always loving, faithful, good and true. All your failures, choices, crud…NOTHING can make Him stop loving you. EVER. Jesus WILL forgive. Always.
What human can condemn us? No one.
And Jesus’ reply is, “Neither do I.”
Wow! You have been so gifted! Knowing what little I do of you, this intrigues me and makes me yearn to know you more closely! I love the insight He has given you into your past, pain and others’ journey. May you be blessed in this endeavor and may our friendship blossom into a beautiful garden! Love you! Donna
I have struggled with homosexual attraction for most of my life. I’ve gone to counseling. I’ve gone to church. I’ve done everything that I know to do. I feel ashamed. I know that it’s not okay. I was abused by an uncle as a kid and I know that I’ve not been able to deal with the abuse like I should. Instead I fight the daily attraction to a lifestyle I don’t want to be in. Forgiveness seems unattainable. I see myself becoming more and more depressed. Looking for some hope.
I want to thank YOU for your courage to write to me and share your pain. You were hurt by an adult who should’ve known better but didn’t do better. That pain is real. You didn’t choose this – it happened to you. I get it. From that moment on, everything has been shades of yuck in your life. Am I right? Some of it happened to you. True. Some of it happened because of what happened to you. Some of it you’ve just jumped in with both feet. I get it. Oh, do I get it. I have included a personal email to you with lots of encouragement so that you will know that you are NOT alone.
I thought it was interesting that you said ‘you’ve done everything that YOU know to do.’ Have you talked to God? Do you know who Jesus is? Do you know Him personally? I’m not surprised that everything “You’ve” done hasn’t helped. You can’t do it. Only Jesus can. I hear the questions and the hurt in your words and I want to tell you that God loves you. He loves you. He loves YOU. He deeply desires you to come to Him. He has a plan for you. What you need will come from Him. I know you might be thinking “I’ve already tried religion.” But Jesus isn’t religion. That’s messed up. Jesus is life. He is love. He is forgiveness. He is the healer. He is hope. He is power. He is the life changer. You are no different then anyone. Everyone has sin. Me worst of all. I have forgiveness because of Jesus. He took my shame and brokenness and hurt and healed my heart and changed my life. He took an outcast and said, “I’ll take her. I want her.” Jesus will take you. He wants You, too.
Look for my email. Your courage makes me smile!
I was dating a guy from college and I was drunk and he and three of his buddies came into his dorm room and held me down and took turns raping me. I did everything I was supposed to do. I told the police. No one believed me. Not even my family. I am now married and have two kids. But I have hatred in my heart towards my family for not believing me. It effects everything in my life. I feel like it’s eating me alive. But I am so angry. How do I forgive them?
I have struggled for a long time with past sexual sin. I had a crush on a friend of my older sibling and one night when he slept over at the house, he touched me. He told me that he loved me and I was thrilled. That led to more touching and then finally to sex. I remember feeling ashamed but it also felt powerful because I had control over someone. From then on I was sexually active all the time with all different people. In college I met a Christian man and we got married. But I took the sexual “crud” with me. I realize now that I never dealt with it. I ended up having an affair not long into the marriage. He left me. I don’t blame him. I betrayed him. But I have felt horrible guilt ever since. Sex does not fill the void. I think I need to forgive myself. But how do I do that?
This post touched me so much. I have not been able to let go of some past decisions. Thank you for your story and for this blog. God is using you to minister to people like me. Thank you.
Praise God for you, Sonya Bruner. I listened to your music and I want to tell you that I feel an annointing on you. Your words and your music. You have a gift. I’m blown away. This post blessed me. I can’t let go of some guilt and your line about ‘sometimes it feels like forgiveness is for “those” people – not me’…hit me like a ton of bricks. Thank you for this word to my soul. It refreshes me.
Will Jesus forgive me if I’ve had sex with lots of guys? I feel horrible but I can’t stop doing it.
Hannah – I’m going to say something that is going to shock you, I’m sure.
STOP HAVING SEX WITH GUYS!
You said it yourself, it makes you feel HORRIBLE. Why? Because that’s NOT God’s plan for your life or theirs. Jesus died for all. His forgiveness is for all those that would place their faith and trust in Him. Do you know Jesus personally? Do you have a relationship with Him?
So let me ask you this…why do you keep doing it? That’s the REAL question. What is in you that you use sex to fill something in your life? Don’t get me wrong. Sex is great. But there is a plan that Jesus has lovingly given us and THAT is why you feel horrible. You are doing this awesome, wonderful, fantastic gift from God in a way that is NOT His plan. No matter how you try to fill yourself up, it will NEVER satisfy you.
I sent you an email. I had many things to talk to you about. Thanks for your encouragement to me through email. You are a brave girl and I am thrilled that you’ve felt like you can talk to me. 🙂
I love the song “Alabaster Box”. I heard you sing this at First Southern. This story reminds me of that song and my own life.
I have never felt loved. My dad was military and harsh and my mom was more concerned about what people thought then spending time with her kids. I felt ignored. So, I cut myself and got drunk. I slept with any boy that would sleep with me. When I read this post and your last one, I felt guilty because there was nothing like what happened to you, yet I did anything to feel loved by people. Something is broken in me. I’ve been going to different churches, but it’s not helping. I am struggling. Would you pray for me?
Love this post! It is so wonderful and encouraging to know that He will never condemn us – no matter how awful we are! Thanks for sharing 🙂
I am so thankful that God loves us. I agree sometimes I am my worst enemy. I know God forgives us but when I mess up I do sometimes beat myself up. Thank you for the reminder of Gods love and mercy. I wonder what he wrote in the dirt? Maybe her name and forgiven. Thank you Lord for your grace and forgiveness.
I love that, Laurie. I too, have wondered what He wrote in the dirt. I love how it says that ‘only He was left with her’…such a beautiful picture of how much Jesus loves us and how He will NEVER leave us.I also love that he “stooped down” to her level and all of our levels, really…He lowered Himself to meet us where we are. POWERFUL! He wasn’t afraid to get “dirty” to show us His deep love. This passage is SO powerful. I am grateful for Jesus and His “Neither do I.”
This is a really good reminder. When I was young I used to have a sign in my room that said, “God don’t make junk!” I would look at that everyday to remind myself that I was worthy. Just worthy to exist. I mean God made me,He loves me, and He knows what He’s doing. I am my own worst enemy. My husband is always saying, “don’t be so hard on yourself”. I’m still working on that! What would life be without Jesus? I just want to live each day for Him, sharing my faith and trusting Him.
It is so easy to drudge up those recurring sins in our lives and beat ourselves up over and over. Knowing the Jesus has died so that I am forgiven is what keeps me going. I am so unworthy and undeserving….. However, he sees me differently and I am so THANKFUL!!!
I love this posting. It’s such a good reminder there’s nothing we do to earn our salvation and therefore nothing we can do to loose it. He loves us so much more than we deserve. I’m so very grateful.
Wonderful post! I feel like so many women, young and old need to hear this on a regular basis! So encouraging!
I am my own worst enemy.
I know what you mean. Totally. 😉