If this seems depressing, forgive me. When the Lord convicts you, it should serve as a wake-up call. Throughout this E-mail, I will point out some people for a reason. On that note, let me begin.
John 8:1-11 says this (But Jesus walked out to the Mount of Olives. Then early the next morning he went to the temple. The people came to him, and he sat down and started teaching them. The Pharisees and the teachers of the Law of Moses brought in a woman who had been caught in bed with a man who wasn't her husband. They made her stand in the middle of the crowd. Then they said, "Teacher, this woman was caught sleeping with a man who isn't her husband. The Law of Moses teaches that a woman like this should be stoned to death! What do you say?" They asked Jesus this question, because they wanted to test him and bring some charge against him. But Jesus simply bent over and started writing on the ground with his finger. They kept on asking Jesus about the woman. Finally, he stood up and said, "If any of you have never sinned, then go ahead and throw the first stone at her!" Once again he bent over and began writing on the ground. The people left one by one, beginning with the oldest. Finally, Jesus and the woman were there alone. Jesus stood up and asked her, "Where is everyone? Isn't there anyone left to accuse you?" "No sir," the woman answered. Then Jesus told her, "I am not going to accuse you either. You may go now, but don't sin anymore.")
I like this particular version of this. It's interesting to see (and I can speak on this, because I fall guilty on this myself) that Christ can forgive us, but we can hold people's past against them. Now, let's look into this for a moment. Many people in the world and in the church like to quote he who is without sin cast the first stone. Granted, we are all sinners, but we do have a mission: to please Christ and to shun evil at all costs, BUT REMEMBER IT GIVES YOU NO EXCUSE TO SIN, and some people use it to justify their sin which is wrong. But if a person is weak, we should help them; however, we are to let a person know that their sin is wrong and we should see that a person repent, never to return to that state again. Off tangent for a moment: (Remember that our salvation demands responsibility. A problem develops however when people start to think that they don't need to show any responsibilities towards God's gift of salvation). Even though Jesus didn't really deal with her sin, it's easy to imagine how this woman felt in the presence of Jesus. We can easily assume she felt condemned and we should too when we come into His presence and we've done wrong. If not, we (including myself) might want to check to see if we're really regenerate. And sometimes, we may have to come to that point to where we just break down and say, "Lord, forgive me, I've wronged you." Much like David in Psalm 51 and if we've wronged the Lord, this should basically be the prayer using verses 1-14: (You are kind, God! Please have pity on me. You are always merciful! Please wipe away my sins. Wash me clean from all of my sin and guilt. I know about my sins, and I cannot forget my terrible guilt. You are really the one I have sinned against; I have disobeyed you and have done wrong. So it is right and fair for you to correct and punish me. I have sinned and done wrong since the day I was born. But you want complete honesty, so teach me true wisdom. Wash me with hyssop until I am clean and whiter than snow. Let me be happy and joyful! You crushed my bones, now let them celebrate. Turn your eyes from my sin and cover my guilt. Create pure thoughts in me and make me faithful again. Don't chase me away from you or take your Holy Spirit away from me. Make me as happy as you did when you saved me; make me want to obey! I will teach sinners your Law, and they will return to you. Keep me from any deadly sin. Only you can save me! Then I will shout and sing about your power to save.)
I like the latter part, and that's what I believe we should do. But remember, if we pray something like this; know that anyone who keeps on sinning belongs to the devil. He has sinned from the beginning, but the Son of God came to destroy all that he has done.
God's children cannot keep on being sinful. His life-giving power lives in them and makes them his children, so that they cannot keep on sinning - according to 1 John 3:8-9. For me personally, this lesson is a bitter pill that I have to swallow. Sometimes it comes down to this.