Sheryl Boldt

Restoring the one who has hit rock bottom

Everybody knew.

The woman had been married five times. To add to her scandalous reputation, the man she was now living with wasn’t her husband. Her neighbors wanted nothing to do with her – except as a source of delicious gossip.

Shame reigned in the woman’s heart. Judgment reigned in her neighbors’. Then … Jesus entered the scene.

John 4:7-42 tells us the same crowd that had previously condemned the woman’s way of life later thanked her for telling them about Jesus. From one disgraced woman arose a ministry that impacted an entire community. 

This week, we’ll focus on the final section of 1 Corinthians 13:6 (ESV): “[Love] does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.”

God calls us to rise above the temptation to gossip when people make devastating choices that ruin their lives and relationships. It’s especially easy to fall into this trap when it involves someone we don’t particularly like. But when we choose to behave this way, we further the decay of our country, our community and even our churches. 

Wouldn’t it be better if, when we hear about people who have blown it, we looked for ways to bring God’s truth into their situations? We could start by admitting (to ourselves and to God) that we, too, have made poor choices. Then, we could seek ways to help those who are struggling to overcome or live with the consequences they’re experiencing. 

We could let them know how others have been there for us during our times of struggle and offer to attend an AA meeting or other appropriate support group with them. We could also invite them to church and share a meal afterward. Let’s ask God to show us meaningful ways to get involved and then step out in faith to do what He tells us.

This year’s National Day of Prayer (May 2) theme is “Lift Up the Word, Light Up the World.” Let’s live and behave in a way that reflects God’s Light to the world (Matthew 5:14). May our choices glorify our heavenly Father and be a light to those who are in darkness. The joy we experience while helping restore people’s lives far outweighs the fun of relishing in their downfall, even when – especially when – we help someone we previously scorned.

Recalling our opening story, how do you think the woman started her day the morning after she met Jesus? 

How would you?

Sheryl H. Boldt, a Franklin County resident, is the author of the blog, Connect with her at

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Meet the Editor

David Adlerstein, The Apalachicola Times’ digital editor, started with the news outlet in January 2002 as a reporter.

Prior to then, David Adlerstein began as a newspaperman with a small Boston weekly, after graduating magna cum laude from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. He later edited the weekly Bellville Times, and as business reporter for the daily Marion Star, both not far from his hometown of Columbus, Ohio.

In 1995, he moved to South Florida, and worked as a business reporter and editor of Medical Business newspaper. In Jan. 2002, he began with the Apalachicola Times, first as reporter and later as editor, and in Oct. 2020, also began editing the Port St. Joe Star.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

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