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Daily Devotional John 4: 4-42

In his book, Leading with a Limp, Dan Allender goes against the norm. He encourages leaders not to hide their weaknesses, but to use them! He recognizes that all leaders are broken, and God can use our brokenness to help others. Instead of protecting our image, Allender suggests that God can use imperfect yet authentic leaders to accomplish amazing things.

God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things— and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are.


But facing our imperfection is intimidating. Just ask the woman at the well. In John 4, we read that Jesus came to the town of Samaria. Tired, He sat down at a well around noontime, and a Samaritan woman came to draw water. At first glance, this woman had three strikes against her. For starters, being a woman didn’t give her much status. Being a Samaritan lowered her status even more. And drawing water at noon— all alone—was her third strike. In everyone’s eyes, she was deplorable. Except in the eyes of Jesus. To Him, she had value.

Many scholars speculate that this woman had so many husbands because she enjoyed a promiscuous lifestyle. However, cultural context may suggest that because she was unable to conceive and produce an heir (vv. 16–18), one by one, her husbands would have shown her the door. But after her encounter with Jesus, she saw that despite her past, God loved her (vv. 21–26).

After her interaction with the Messiah, she left both the well and her shame behind. This unlikely messenger returned to the people who had shunned her and convinced them to experience what she had witnessed (vv. 29–30). God used her imperfections to introduce others to God’s love: “Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony” (v. 39).

>> Celebrating your success is excellent, but you can grow more when learning from your mistakes. When was the last time you failed? What did you learn from that experience? Who in your life needs to learn that lesson, too?

Pray with Us

Most of us don’t want to relive our failures, associating them with shame and disappointment in ourselves. Help us focus on You instead. Teach us to proclaim the ways You have forgiven us and extended Your grace.

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