by Julie Zine Coleman
She had never seen him before that day. She saw by his clothing he was a Jew. As she moved toward the well, he startled her by striking up a conversation, requesting she give him a drink with the jug she carried. “You are asking me, a Samaritan woman, to give you a drink?” she blurted out, astonished by his willingness to converse with her.
“If you knew who I was,” he told her, “You would be asking me for living water. Everyone who drinks the water I’m offering will never be thirsty again.”
“Sir, give me this water, so I will not be thirsty, and not have to travel all the way here to draw water anymore,” she said.
“Go,” he said. “Call your husband and come here.” She quickly informed him that his assumption about her marital status was mistaken. “It’s true you have no husband at present,” he agreed. “For you have had five husbands, and the man you are living with now is not your husband.”
Her mouth dropped open at his startling revelation. How could he know so much about her? And why so abruptly bring up her sordid history when thus far he had seemed only intent on kindness? (See John 4 for the whole conversation.)
We, too, might puzzle at Jesus’ blunt and seemingly confrontational words. We can best understand them in context. He was offering her living water. Bringing her sin out into the open would begin an honest relationship with God that would truly quench her thirsty soul.
“Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxious thoughts; and see if there be any hurtful way in me…” David prayed (Psalm 139:23-4 NASB). Our sin can keep us from intimacy with God, even after we are saved. Taking a good, honest look at ourselves can be a revealing exercise. But the Bible does not instruct us to do so alone. We are to take the Lord with us on our internal journey.
Examining ourselves in the light of God’s holiness will reveal the darkness within. Involving Him will also help us to avoid despair. His unconditional forgiveness will only foster a deeper knowledge of His grace and hope.
It is not a comfortable process. Reality can be painful to view and even more painful to confess. Yet like a physical infection, only when sin is brought into the open can healing begin. Just like what Jesus did for the woman at the well.
After months of freezing temperatures here in Maryland, we were finally blessed early this spring with a few days of balmy breezes. Snow quickly disappeared as the temperatures soared into the sixties. But I noticed, as my dog and I walked one early morning, that patches of snow and ice still remained where evergreen trees shaded the ground, preventing the sun from doing its magic. Winter’s icy grip remained where the sun failed to reach.
When we allow sin to remain hidden in our hearts, we deny ourselves the healing touch of God in those cold, hard places. Confession is good for the soul. It is time to rid ourselves of our shameful secrets and bring them out into the light and warmth of the saving grace of God.
“He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy.” Proverbs 28: 13 NASB
This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).
About the author: Julie Zine Coleman helps others to understand and know an unexpected God. A popular conference and retreat speaker, she holds an M.A. in biblical studies. Julie is the managing editor for Arise Daily. When she is not glaring at her computer, she spends time with her grandchildren, gardening, or crafting. More on Julie can be found at her new website JulieZineColeman.com and Facebook.
Many Christian women are torn between the church’s traditional teachings on gender roles and the liberty they experience in secular society. But what if the church’s conventional interpretations aren’t really biblical at all? Julie’s new book, On Purpose, is a careful study of the passages in the Bible often interpreted to limit women in the church, at home, or in the workplace. Each chapter reveals timeless biblical principles that actually teach freedom, not limitation.
Join the conversation: What sin are you protecting from coming into the light?