“Drink this water, and your thirst is quenched only for a moment. You must return to this well again and again. I offer water that will become a wellspring within you that gives life throughout eternity. You will never be thirsty again” (John 4:13-14, The Voice).
It seems to me that there are presently two popular schools of thought when it comes to those who err. One school says that you’re a rotten, filthy, dirty sinner who deserves whatever comes your way. The other says in essence, “I’m okay; you’re okay.”
When I think about the woman at the well in John 4, I think she might bristle at both. She knew she’d messed up, but she was probably hoping from a little more sympathy plus a shot at redemption. As for the “I’m okay, you’re okay” way of thinking, she’d probably point out the fact that she came to draw water during the hottest part of the day to plainly state that she was not okay.
I heard a sermon today where the pastor said Jesus showed both compassion and conviction toward the woman.
He showed compassion in that He went out of His way to speak to the woman and actually engage her in conversation that was more than just about the weather.
He also showed conviction when He wouldn’t let her evade His questions and steer the conversation away from the uncomfortable. While He showed love toward the woman, that love didn’t include enabling her in behavior that wasn’t God’s best for her.
I found that quite convicting. Who will I go out of my way to speak to this week? Who will I show love toward (and not just the warm fuzzy kind, but the kind that is willing to ask the hard questions)?
As for me, I’m thankful that Jesus was willing to love me where He found me and accept me as I was. I’m equally grateful that His love refused to let me stay in that place.
I’m thankful as usual for a pastor in Aaron Bryant who doesn’t always tell me what I want to hear, but will always share what I need to hear, especially on my birthday.