A Prostitute, A Governor and The Marvelous Beauty of GRACE

 

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I had a real God moment this past Friday.

 

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Diane Sawyer from “Good Morning America”  did an interview on 20/20 last Friday, with the call girl that brought down the former governor of New York, Eliot Spitzer.  I was angry that she was even given a half an hour in free marketing and publicity on national TV.

I hated the fact that while Gov. Spitzer’s life has been irrevocably reuined and he’s brutally condemned by his state and other on-lookers, this girl -this prostitute- has now been made into a celebrity, and for what? For being a prostitute.  Since the fiasco, she’s turned down all sorts of offers that could’ve netted her millions of dollars in personal profits.  She’s been hounded by national media outlets,including TV and radio and magazines, for all sorts of interviews and profiles.

Yet Eliot Spitzer will never fully gain his life back, and he’ll never be trusted as a leader again, and for the next 20 years will remembered with this big black stain all over his legacy.

 

 

But to top it all off, what angered me most, was that this girl came on TV and made herself look like the victim in all of this. After all, she shared that her boyrfriend had just broken up a few months before the big scandal, that she dropped out of high school, and that she didn’t want to be a waitress any more so she decided to become a call girl.  Bare in mind, she implored tearfully, she was terrified of meeting strange men.  She’s a victim, even after she posed for a NY newspaper just a few days after the news broke.

 

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And it upset me that so many people watching the interview will be charmed by her and even embrace her, while still wishing they could have the honor of throwing Spitzer into the lake of fire themselves.  It angered me that our culture has these double standards.

 

And I felt for this fallen leader.

 

 

Then it hit me: who am I to judge this girl?  Who am I to condemn her and point out her obvious sin.  My mind went back to story in the Bible (John eight) where Jesus speaks to the woman caught in adultery.  Remember, a Jewish mob brings a woman whom they had just caught in the very act of adultery to Jesus.  Under the law of Moses, she was to be stoned to death for this evil deed.  And Jesus standing there, the perfect son of God, the one who’s truly worthy to judge her says to the crowd,

 

“He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” (vs.8)  What a powerful answer.  No one saw that coming.  They were caught by surprised, and confronted with their own hypocrisy, their own sinfulness, and their own need for a savior.

 

I love the next verse: “Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one . . .” (vs. 9)

 

And just when you think it’s all over.

 

The most powerful moment in the whole story happens.  The moment of confrontation, where this woman, this sinner, stands before Jesus, face to face looking into His eyes.

The Bible continues, “And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.  When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw the woman, He said to her, “Has no one condemned you?”

She said, “No one, Lord.”
And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.” (John 8: 8-11 NKJV)

 

 

Did you see that?  The power and beauty of this moment is brought alive when we look at the bigger picture happening before our eyes.  Here is the god of heaven and earth who saw her sinning, who witnessed her immorality and rebellion.  The God who stood there while she was sinning, who saw it all.  Looks at her, face to face and says, NEITHER DO I CONDEMN YOU.

 

“But God you saw me sinning, you know that I am guilty?” and again He whispers “NEITHER DO I CONDEMN YOU.”

And best of all, neither does He condemn you or me.

 

After all this dawned on me, I had to repent of my pride and hypocrisy. And I had to thank God again for his loving kindness that holds me even after I’ve sinned against Him.  And I had to confront the glaring truth: I am no better than the prostitute or the governor. For I too have fallen short of the glory of God, and stand in need of a savior.

 

Just like this girl Diane Sawyer interviewed, and the governor, we all stand condemned, deserving of death. But yet we are made alive through the One who picks us up even at our worst.  So that we are no longer focused on our sinfulness, but rather we’re overwhelmed as we stare up at the amazingness of GRACE.

 

And we find ourselves – as Matt Redman would say it – Facedown.  Because When You Face up to God’s Glory, You Find Yourself Facedown in Worship.

 

 

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