The story of the woman at the well is one of those stories that packs a thousand truths about Christ. One of my favorite observations is… throughout His conversation with this wayward woman, Jesus focuses not her outward appearance, or her sin, or her past. He addresses her thirst. After all, that’s what her mistakes all came down to.
After studying this story over and over, I get an uncontrollable facial tic when I hear someone condemn a woman – or anyone else – because of outward appearances, past mistakes or visible struggles. Lifestyle choices, addiction, rebellion… those things are not the point. The point is… we thirst.
We can thirst silently in our loneliness… or we can thirst openly and admit we just can’t do life without Divine help. We can call it a thousand things, but whether our thirst drives us to make a mess of our lives or drives us to be self-righteous and look down on someone else’s choices…it is still thirst that gets us into the messes we create.
We start getting into dangerous territory when we try to imitate goodness in exchange for letting the limitless, thirst-quenching love of Jesus seep into the very depths of who we are to quench that nagging need that drives everything we do (and everything we don’t do).
The thirsty would be flocking into church by the droves if they only knew they would not be judged but rather offered water for their most insatiable thirst. And self-righteousness wouldn’t exist if we could look beyond the behavior and see sin for what it is…thirst.