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Monday, June 22nd, 2020

With the nation being in the throes of a presidential election, now and continuing through the fall, we can expect both parties to take clear sides on nearly every issue that arises. Because of this, we often get baited into joining them in either defense/support or condemnation of each issue. But must we be forced into making a binary decision? In such a situation, there is always a third option: forgiveness. Jesus set the example of how we are to react to sin or controversy in our society— we are to forgive it. He displayed such forgiveness to a woman charged with adultery in John 8. When the mob presented her to Jesus, expecting him to condemn her as the law states, Jesus did not condemn nor defend her. He simply forgave her and went about his business. When we are faced with such polarizing topics, of which there are many in politics, we do not have to make the false choice of either condemning or defending something: we can choose to forgive as Jesus did. After all, Jesus is a much better judge than any of us. Today, reflect on your own life and see where you can choose to forgive instead of continuing to defend or condemn.

"At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him. But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground. At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” — John 8:2-11 ESV

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