Habits of Highly Effective Christ-Followers
Have a Win-Win Attitude – Part V
Scripture Reading: Matthew 7:1-14 NLT
Key Verse: Matthew 7:12 NLT
“Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.”
Jesus not only was a master teacher, He also was the perfect model of what He taught. In modern vocabulary, “Jesus walked His talk”!
Here is one example:
Jesus returned to the Mount of Olives, but early the next morning He was back again at the Temple. A crowd soon gathered, and He sat down and taught them. As He was speaking, the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. They put her in front of the crowd.
“Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery. The law of Moses says to stone her. What do You say?”
They were trying to trap Him into saying something they could use against Him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with His finger. They kept demanding an answer, so He stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” Then He stooped down again and wrote in the dust.
When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until 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? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?”
“No, Lord,” she said.
And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.” (John 8:1-11 NLT)
Notice the lessons in these verses.
First, it would have been easy for Jesus to agree with these teachers of the law because they were right about what the law. But Jesus did not take the easy way out because He had come to teach and model a new covenant. This New Covenant is full of mercy and grace!
Second, Jesus wrote something in the dirt. Many theologians agree that Jesus probably wrote some sins that these men had committed. Be careful about judging anyone harshly because Jesus knows all our sins.
Third, our harsh judgments of other people lose importance when we are honest about our sins. All these experts and teachers of the law walked away without another word about throwing stones at this woman.
Fourth, Jesus did not condemn the woman for her sins. Jesus showed her mercy!
Finally, compassion does not equal compromise; Jesus told this woman to go and sin no more. Jesus showed compassion but he did not excuse her sin.
We all must learn to show love, mercy, and compassion to people without telling them that it is okay to continue sinning!
Father, help me to form the habit of mercy and grace. In Jesus’s name I pray, amen.