Jesus replied, “Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.”“Please, sir,” the woman said, “give me this water! Then I’ll never be thirsty again, and I won’t have to come here to get water.”
“Go and get your husband,” Jesus told her.“I don’t have a husband,” the woman replied.Jesus said, “You’re right! You don’t have a husband—for you have had five husbands, and you aren’t even married to the man you’re living with now. You certainly spoke the truth!”The woman left her water jar beside the well and ran back to the village, telling everyone, “Come and see a man who told me everything I ever did! Could he possibly be the Messiah?” So the people came streaming from the village to see him.Many Samaritans from the village believed in Jesus because the woman had said, “He told me everything I ever did!” When they came out to see him, they begged him to stay in their village. So he stayed for two days, long enough for many more to hear his message and believe. Then they said to the woman, “Now we believe, not just because of what you told us, but because we have heard him ourselves. Now we know that he is indeed the Savior of the world.”
~John 4:13-18; 28-30; 39-42 (NLT)
Shame. Isn’t that what we, as women, constantly live with? It’s what this woman lived with. She came to the well at noon, in the heat of the day, to avoid everyone in town because of her shame. We don’t know why she had 5 husbands. Did they all die or did they divorce her? We do know that the man she was living with when she met Jesus was not her husband~a situation that was scandalous at that time. She was an outcast and when Jesus mentions his living water, she responds from her shame. She wishes she never has to return to the well again~never has to chance running into the other women from the town and face their condemnation.
But Jesus knows her true need. She needs freedom from her shame. Only then can she fulfill God’s purpose for her life. But in order to heal her shame, Jesus must shine God’s light of truth into her life. So in the very next verse Jesus asks about her husband and through that conversation exposes her sin~she is living with a man who is NOT her husband.
Girlfriends, I don’t know about you, but this is the kind of conversation I tend to avoid. I don’t like having my sins exposed~and that is exactly how the enemy holds me back. If the enemy can convince me to keep my sin hidden, then he can keep me in my shame and make me ineffective in the life I want to live for Christ. When I refuse to allow God’s light of truth to pierce the dark places of my heart, I miss out on the life of freedom God desires me.
Jesus loves us and, like he did with the woman at the well, he gently and lovingly exposes our sin so that we can be free from guilt and shame. When this woman discovered that Jesus was the Messiah she ran back to the town~to the very people she worked so hard to avoid~and told them about Jesus. She invited them to “come and see!”
What happened to her shame? When faced with the love and grace of our Savior, shame flees! She saw Jesus for who He really is and because of her new freedom she could share Jesus with the very people who previously scorned her! She was free to live out God’s purpose for her life.
Breathe in His love…exhale all your shame…
Is there something in your life that is holding you captive to guilt and shame? Take the time to have an honest conversation with Jesus and allow Him to free you. His love, mercy and grace are waiting for you.
Lord~help me see You for who you really are. Thank you for inviting me to share my hurts and struggles with You. Give me the courage to have an honest conversation with You and expose the deepest shame in my heart. Thank you that You are breaking the bonds of shame in my life and setting me free to truly love and serve You…
Today’s post was written by Michele Barnes.