“When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, ‘Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.’ Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground. At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, ‘Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?’ ‘No one, sir,’ she said. ‘Then neither do I condemn you,’ Jesus declared. ‘Go now and leave your life of sin.’”

– John 8:7-11

Shame leads to bad behavior and judgement. In fact, there are scientifically-backed studies that prove that what the Scriptures say about legalism is true: those who are the most judgemental and harsh are those who experience shame on the deepest level. What they say to others is what they subconsciously say to themselves. When you run into people who are mean-spirited and condemning, they often have a voice swirling around in their mind telling them that they are a bad person or a failure. For whatever reason, that voice causes them to be more strict and merciless towards others.

In John 8,  Jesus is in the temple and a group of really hardcore, wicked men take a woman who was caught in the act of adultery and drag her out in front of a crowd to stone her. Knowing that Jesus is merciful, their intent is to to trap Him into breaking the law of Moses, but rather than making a statement about the woman’s sin, He turns it around on them and says, “He who has not sinned can throw the first stone.” Then, the Bible says that oldest to youngest, each one dropped their stones and walked away.

What’s amazing to me about this story is that all of these men struggled with shame; they all knew they didn’t live up to the law. Subconsciously, their sin weighed on them, but rather than own it, they decided to project it onto this poor woman. When Jesus called them on it, their shame moved into their conscious minds, they felt it, and then walked away.

Friend, shame has no place in your life. Receive God’s forgiveness and give him the guilt of your past. As you do, you will become a more loving, patient and joy-filled person, who can readily extend mercy to others.


God, thank you for taking my shame and replacing it with your love and mercy.


Do you have a harsh inner voice? Pay attention to what you say to yourself today.

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9 Responses

  1. I watch your service every week Bobby. I really like your new location in Irvine. I thank you all for your Daily Devotional, they really give me a positive outlook on life. I have a lot of joy inside of me because of your inspiration .

    1. My guess is that perhaps he would rather spend his money helping others instead of outfitting himself with the latest fashions. Worth thinking about…

    2. I don’t believe that his suit/s are one size too small. I believe that as a young pastor he is going along with today’s men’s fashions…..tailored and fitted. He looks great, takes pride in his appearance, and works out. Because of his appearance he appeals to my young college-aged daughter and hopefully to many young people!

  2. Our Lord is not interested in what clothing any one wears. Our Lord cares deeply about the heart of each of us. Are we not children of God who wear His mercy, compassion, kindness, caring, guidance, and loving ways? Let us look to the heart of each other and see what pleases our Lord.

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