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December 11, 2015

Forgiven Much

"Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven-for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little." Luke 7:45

In Luke 7:36-50 Jesus exposes Peter's self-righteousness and his lack of sincere love for the Lord. Jesus is not indicating in this passage that Peter has fewer sins to be forgiven. Its just that this woman is aware of how much she has been forgiven and has lavished her love on the Lord. Peter had only recognized his need to be forgiven for a few of his many sins. 

Having been a Christian pretty much as long as I can remember, I can definitely relate to feeling like Peter at times. This self-righteous prideful thinking is so dangerous because it keeps us from experiencing a right relationship with God. At first read, we think Jesus is a little harsh, but Jesus acts lovingly and graciously to Peter. He exposes the thing that is holding Peter back from loving like this woman loved. In the same way, spiritual disciplines position us for the Holy Spirit to confront us with the attitudes in out heart that hold us back. Spending time with Jesus brings the understanding and awareness we need to truly love him. Are we willing to let the Holy Spirit correct our attitudes and our high, self-righteous opinions of ourselves? In his book Who is the Holy Spirit, Amos Yong asks "Are we just as willing to be 'lowered' from our higher status as we are to be 'lifted up' from our lower places?" The economy of God's kingdom is equality in Jesus Christ for Jew and Gentile, rich or poor, churched and un-churched. We've all been forgiven much and we all have opportunities ever day to love much.