As I read this it made me wonder if Spitzer will be defined by his indiscretion for the rest of hislife. Will his name be synonymous with hypocrisy and prostitution forever? Will he ever be ableto move beyond his mistakes or is shame his new destiny?And that got me thinking about Tiger Woods. I don’t need to relate his story. There’s enough of it in the media. But I wonder the same thing about Tiger Woods …will he ever be able to movebeyond his affairs and be seen as a man of integrity again? Or will his affairs define him for therest of his life? Will he always be known as the greatest golfer …that never was.The reason I bring this up is not to pick on these men but because I’m concerned for those of ushere who – like Spitzer and Woods - have a past that overshadows your present and your future.You’ve got some big time mistakes or failures that haunt you and rob you of God’s best. I don’twant these failures to define you. I don’t want you trapped in guilt and feeling distant from Godbecause that’s not your destiny as one of God’s children. God’s got something much better foryou than that. So I want to talk about that over the next few weeks as we move toward Easter.The apostle John tells a story about a woman that might give us some perspective. She wascaught in the act of adultery and dragged to the center of town where the religious elderssurrounded her and were ready to stone her. In that culture her sin definitely
her.Adultery made her worthless and disposable. It didn’t offer her any hope of a new life. But justbefore the first stone was launched Jesus stopped the men and said…
If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.
Slowly the men dropped their stones and walked away…each one aware of their own sin issues.And then after the men had left Jesus turned to the woman and said,
Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?" "No one, sir," she said. "Thenneither do I condemn you," Jesus declared. "Go now and leave your life of sin."
John8:10,11You see, Jesus refused to define this woman by her sin. He refused to reduce her entire existenceto her weakest and most shameful moments. He knew that there was more to her than that. Herefused to condemn her…which means to pass judgment on her, or make a negative decisionabout her value. Instead, Jesus forgave her and gave her hope of a new life
adultery.If Jesus were to sit down with Eliot Spitzer today I don’t think he’d spend much time talkingabout the sins of his past. I think he’d spend more time talking about the hope of his future andthe potential that he had. That’s the nature of forgiveness. Forgiveness doesn’t dwell on the past.
dwells on the past.
dwells on the past. But forgiveness looks to the future.And so if you are struggling with guilt today I want to encourage you that God has a future foryou. He hasn’t given up on you.
Am I forgiven?
I know that many people wrestle with not feeling forgiven. They know
that Godforgives them but they don’t
forgiven. I spoke with someone once about their faith. I askedthem if they believed that God forgave their sins and they said they did. Then I asked them if they thought they would go to heaven when they died and they said they weren’t sure.