Read John 8:10-11
10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” 11 “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” (NIV)
There seem to be two extremes in the Christian church when it comes to dealing with human wrongdoing. One extreme is to jump on those who have gone astray and remind them constantly of their shortcomings. You may hear about grace, but you have to crawl over broken glass to receive it.
The other extreme is to shrug your shoulders, paint a warm smile on your face, and pat the wrongdoer on the head and tell them God loves them so don’t worry about it. Grace is so cheap that it becomes worthless.
Neither approach takes human responsibility seriously enough. We are responsible for our actions and our actions have consequences. Then again, our God is able to bring good out of evil and wholeness out of brokenness. We are neither to complacently accept sin nor see it as the bedrock reality.
Jesus didn’t condemn the woman caught in adultery. Nor did he condone her adultery. Grace recognises sin for what it is and takes it seriously. But it doesn’t regard it as the last word. And in the end, none of us can leave our life of sin without having first being assured we are not condemned.