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Mercy Triumphs over Judgment
By Rick Warren

“‘Neither do I condemn you,’ Jesus declared. ‘Go now and leave your life of sin.’” John 8:11 (NIV)

If you are a follower of Jesus Christ, God calls you to treat everyone with dignity. It doesn’t matter if they act, think, or worship differently than you. He still wants you to treat them with dignity. Why?

Because that’s what Jesus did.

Jesus accepted everyone. This doesn’t mean he approved of everything people did. He doesn’t approve of everything you do either, but he accepts you and treats you with dignity.

In John 8, Jesus treated a humiliated woman with dignity, but her accusers did not. Instead, they brought her before Jesus and said, “This woman was caught in the act of adultery. The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?” (John 8:4-5 NLT)

Jesus knew they were just trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, so he “stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger . . .  stood up again and said, ‘All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!’” (John 8:6-7 NLT)

Nobody knows what Jesus wrote in the dirt, because the Bible doesn’t tell us. Some scholars think he wrote down the sins of the woman’s accusers: judgmentalism, arrogance, dishonesty, or spousal abuse. After all, Jesus, being God, knew their secret sins and wanted to get to the heart of the matter. 

What did her accusers end up doing? John 8:9 says, “They slipped away one by one . . . until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman” (NLT). They didn’t stick around to condemn her.

And Jesus didn’t condemn her either. Instead, he showed her mercy. John 8:11 says, “‘Neither do I condemn you,’ Jesus declared. ‘Go now and leave your life of sin’” (NIV).

Did this woman do something wrong? Yes. She cheated on her husband. But Jesus protected her dignity in a public situation and dealt with her sin gently. He simply said, “Don’t do this anymore.” He changed her.

That’s why I love Jesus—because he does the same thing with me. He treats me with dignity, even though I don’t deserve it. That’s what he does in your life too, when you accept his mercy. And, it’s how he wants you to treat others.

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the purpose driven life illustrated for children daily hope rick warren august 2022Help the Little Ones in Your Life Discover their Purpose

Even before the universe was created, God had you in mind. He has a special plan and purpose for your life.

Imagine if everyone grew up knowing this powerful truth!

That’s why Pastor Rick created The Purpose Driven Life Devotions for Children.

Filled with powerful Scripture passages and engaging illustrations, this colorful hardback delivers 100 devotions that bring the principles in Pastor Rick’s life-changing bestseller to life for children.

Written especially for young readers ages 4-8, this charming picture book speaks directly to the challenges children face—so you can share it with your children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and kids in your neighborhood.

The Purpose Driven Life Devotions for Children is our thanks for your gift to help Daily Hope take the hope of Jesus to people around the world. Request your copy today!

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This devotional © 2018 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

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