For something that is supposed to be so naturally human we struggle with love.
Not the idea, we get it. But being love to someone? We struggle.
We understand that Jesus loved everyone and called us to do the same. We understand that He died for us in large part because He loves us. We know the verses that talk about how we are to follow His example and how people will know we are His disciple by our love.
We get it as an abstract concept but when it comes to real life it really breaks down.
This seems to be the underlying issue to me. While we would say “Jesus has called us to love everyone” we follow that up with a really reasonable and practical “expect _______.”
Of course we don’t say it that way. Let’s be honest, we’re more clever than that. Our brains wouldn’t allow for that kind of a statement. We need a better frame to allow us to accept that “love everyone but _____” proposition.
We talk about accountability.
We talk about holiness.
We talk about how we cannot condone sin.
We talk about plain reading of the scriptures.
We talk about justice.
We talk about when Jesus said “go and sin no more.”
But here’s the problem. We aren’t the woman caught in adultery and we aren’t Jesus. We are the religious leaders of the day. We are the ones dragging people in front of Jesus hoping He will condemn them. We are the ones using the law and the rules to dehumanize and belittle people.
We are the ones who refuse to see all the ways we’ve missed Christ in our own lives and point out the flaws in everyone else.
Yes Jesus tells the woman to go and sin no more. But it’s Jesus who tells her. It’s when she meets and connects with Jesus she leaves with the call to sin no more.
We are the ones in power, we are the ones trying to maintain the system, we are the ones raging against the outside world hoping it conforms to us and condemning it when it doesn’t.
We could be Jesus in this story.
But too often I think it’s just too satisfying to be right rather than to be love.