Today’s Scripture: John 3:1-17
There was a man named Nicodemus, a Jewish religious leader who was a Pharisee. 2 After dark one evening, he came to speak with Jesus. “Rabbi,” he said, “we all know that God has sent you to teach us. Your miraculous signs are evidence that God is with you.”
3 Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.”
4 “What do you mean?” exclaimed Nicodemus. “How can an old man go back into his mother’s womb and be born again?”
5 Jesus replied, “I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. 6 Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life. 7 So don’t be surprised when I say, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows wherever it wants. Just as you can hear the wind but can’t tell where it comes from or where it is going, so you can’t explain how people are born of the Spirit.”
9 “How are these things possible?” Nicodemus asked.
10 Jesus replied, “You are a respected Jewish teacher, and yet you don’t understand these things? 11 I assure you, we tell you what we know and have seen, and yet you won’t believe our testimony. 12 But if you don’t believe me when I tell you about earthly things, how can you possibly believe if I tell you about heavenly things? 13 No one has ever gone to heaven and returned. But the Son of Man has come down from heaven. 14 And as Moses lifted up the bronze snake on a pole in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15 so that everyone who believes in him will have eternal life.
16 “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.
In our Wednesday Night Group we have been exploring the Enneagram of Personality and how knowing about yourself can help with your own spiritual growth and development. There are nine personality types in the Enneagram – all numbered 1 to 9. The other night we talked about type number ones and we learned that this personality type has a very loud and very persistent inner critic – judging themselves pretty much all of the time.
While this hyper inner critic is a part of being a “one”, all of us have inner critics to some extent, don’t we? We experience that condemnation that we bring to ourselves. We assume others are judging us and we just don’t measure up. I believe social media adds fuel to our inner critic. We compare ourselves to our “friends” and decide that we are just not good enough.
That’s why the last verse of this passage is so powerful. God did not send Jesus to judge us – but to save us. I don’t know how much we REALLY believe that! Jesus is not here to judge us. God did not send a judge to condemn us. God sent his son to save us – save us from a world (and our own selves) that judges us constantly.
As we head into the weekend think about how much of that inner critic you hear during the day and remind yourself that if Jesus, who was perfect, does not judge – then why should we do it to ourselves?
God we hear the critic, we hear the judge, we hear the voice of condemnation. Help us to also hear the truth – that you sent your son not to condemn – but to save. Help us to be people who are full of grace toward others and toward ourselves.
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