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Seeking His Presence by Teresa A. LeNeave;Leading by example

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     … When he leaves, he doesn’t leave the peace of God behind him.

Do you know people like that? When they walk out the door, they leave a presence behind that’s not peaceful. Maybe they live with you, in your house, but peace is not in their character. Maybe it’s a friend who comes just to bear bad news. Maybe it’s someone you expect more from. Instead of love and acceptance, they make you feel low and worthless.

Let’s think about this for a minute. Are you a messenger of peace? Are your motives directed toward good? Why do we do what we do? Why do we judge the way we do? Do we Christians, sometimes, have a double standard?

In the Bible, there was a woman presented to Jesus who was totally humiliated when “righteous” men dragged her in front of Jesus and spit out these shameful words, “We caught her in the act of adultery” (John 8:2-3).

According to the Old Testament law, adultery demanded capital punishment for both, the adulterer and the adulteress (Lev. 20:10). My question is this, “Why didn’t they drag the man in there, too? Where was he? If they were ‘caught in the act’ he was certainly present at the time they grabbed the woman.

When the accusers reminded Jesus that the law demanded she be stoned to death, even Jesus didn’t check them on this. He didn’t ask, “Well, where’s the man?”

What he did do was set a new standard for judgment. In essence he said, “Let someone who is perfect decide the case”. And, immediately he knelt on the ground and started writing. He may have written the names of imperfect people. He may have written the accusers names and their sins. He may have written the actual law which included punishment for both the man and woman. He may have written, “Judge not lest you be judged,” or “forgive and you’ll be forgiven”.

Whatever he wrote, it is clear that he cut through their “normal” way of thinking. Jesus, the only sinless one, decided the case by declining to condemn the woman, telling her to “go and sin no more”. Grace. Marvelous Grace.

If we are eager to point out the other person’s faults while ignoring our own, are we living a double standard? When we leave, do we leave the peace of God behind or do we leave a feeling of guilt behind? Do we inspire them to do better after we’re gone?

When we truly follow Christ we not only look out for our own interests, but also for the interests of others. Anything else is a double standard. 

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