The ultimate reason to love God and others, is that our God first loves us. The paramount motive to forgive others, is that our Lord always forgives us. We will always have reasons and excuses to either limit or withhold love. We can even justify our judgement and right to condemn others. But God’s grace simultaneously prompts and builds on our honesty.
When the woman caught in adultery is brought before Jesus (Jn. 8:1-11), His first response is to call the accusers to honesty. This honesty begins with the self, inviting them to reflect on who among them is without sin. One sinner, or a gang of sinners, cannot condemn or judge another. That right and privilege belongs to the One who is sinless.
Jesus, the innocent Lamb of God, refrains from executing judgement required by the law. Instead, He reveals a heart full of mercy that desires life and forgiveness for the guilty. He neither condemns the woman nor the dishonest group. He calls for repentance and a life of holiness. What the Lord desires and has done for her, so we must do for others.
Lord Jesus, help us to honestly place ‘the log’ of our own sins before You, rather than cry out the ‘splinter’ of others. May our gratitude for being forgiven be extended to all. Amen.