Have you ever had someone be disrespectful to you…maybe try to put you down or make you feel inadequate or unworthy?
We all have at some point in our lives. How did it make YOU feel?
For a good part of my life, in the moment something like that would happen, I just tended to own it....to believe it was a reflection of ME, that I must deserve to be treated like that.
In Chapter 8, of the Gospel of John, there is a scene between Jesus and a woman who had been caught in the very act of adultery. Many of our readers will know this story but for those who may not it is included here.
Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman
caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst,
they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery,
in the very act.
Now Moses, in the law,commanded us that such should be
stoned. But what do You say?” (This they said, testing Him,
that they might have something of which to accuse Him.)
But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His
finger, as though He did not hear.
So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up
and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him
throw a stone at her first.”
And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground.
Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience,
went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the
last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the
When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the
woman, He said to her, “Woman, where are those accusers
of yours? Has no one condemned you?”
She said, “No one, Lord.”
And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and
sin no more.”
I've known this story since my youth. For me it was an example of how we were not to judge and that we should be forgiving which, of course, it is. But as with so many of Jesus' teachings, there is so much more.
There are two life-changing Truths in this Parable which I missed for years. And I will be forever indebted to the person who helped me see them.
Jesus’ response to this woman was a reflection of who HE was, NOT who SHE WAS.
Another person’s response to YOU is a reflection of who THEY are, NOT who YOU are. (How another person chooses to respond to you does not, cannot change anything about you, without your permission.)
Your response to another person is a reflection of who YOU are, NOT who THEY are. (How you choose to respond to another person does not, cannot change anything about that other person, without their permission.)
OH! REALLY? Hmm….
P.S. It is my hope this proves to be as life-changing for you as it was for me.