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Words of Grace

Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt,
so that you may know how to answer everyone.
Colossians 4:6

Have you ever done something wrong and needed grace and forgiveness from others? John 8 describes a woman who was caught in the act of adultery. More than likely, this woman had been framed by the religious leaders who were looking for a means of discrediting Jesus in the eyes of the Jewish people. Her guilt was certain, but the motive behind the accusation of the religious leaders was highly questionable.

What would Jesus do? Would He go against Roman law by enforcing the Jewish law of having her stoned? Would He ignore the law and in the eyes of the Jews condone adultery?

When the woman was brought to Him, Jesus bent down and began to write on the ground. He did not respond immediately. Then he stood and said, If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her (John 8:7). He bent down again and began to write, as one by one the woman’s accusers left.

Jesus alone was left before the woman. He, who had never sinned, was the only one who could have condemned her. Yet, He spoke words of grace saying, Then neither do I condemn you. He encouraged the woman toward righteousness by saying, Go now and leave your life of sin (John 8:11).

Let your conversation always be full of grace (Colossians 4:6). Who needs to hear words of grace from me? Am I most often like the religious leaders—quick to expose the sin of others and quick to condemn, or do I follow the example of Jesus? Do I pause, do I pray, do I seek wise words of grace in which to respond to others? How often do I refrain from ‘throwing stones’ and use my words instead to guide a person toward righteousness?

Lord, I often find it is easier to speak words of condemnation instead of words of grace. Help me follow Your example, Jesus. Help me be slow to speak in difficult circumstances. Give me wise, gracious words to extend to others that will lead them toward righteousness.

Jan Burkhart

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