John 8:1-11 (NRSV)
Then each of them went home, while Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. Early in the morning he came again to the temple. All the people came to him and he sat down and began to teach them. The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery; and making her stand before all of them, they said to him, "Teacher, this woman was caught in the very act of committing adultery. Now in the law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?" They said this to test him, so that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, "Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her." And once again he bent down and wrote on the ground. When they heard it, they went away, one by one, beginning with the elders; and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. Jesus straightened up and said to her, "Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?" She said, "No one, sir." And Jesus said, "Neither do I condemn you. Go your way, and from now on do not sin again."
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
- Galatians 5:1 (NIV)
WHILE in high school, I became entangled in a romantic relationship with one of my teachers. I was young and naive and desperately searching for affirmation. His attention made me feel special, and I ignored my God-given intuition that a relationship of that kind would only lead to trouble.
Because of the decisions I made during that time, I went through several years of heartache. Many areas of my life were affected. Relationships with family and friends became strained; I had little confidence in myself, and I did not trust other people not to take advantage of me.
Many of us have hurts from our past that keep us from being all God wants us to be. Yet, Paul tells us in Second Corinthians 5:17 that anyone who is in Christ is a new creation. Through prayer, I was set free from the troubles in my past. Christ reminded me how much he loved and valued me. I surrendered myself to his cleansing and healing and rededicated my life to him.
Prayer: Dear God, thank you that even the trials and heartache in our lives can be used for your glory if we offer them to you. Amen.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:
Holding on to the past keeps us from living fully in the present.
Teenagers who are being abused
By Angela Baughman, Illinois