Friday, February 14, 2014

For she loved much...

In my internet wanderings I happened into a scripture that set my heart to pondering.  So I thought I'd share those thoughts with you today.

Luke 7:44-48
44 And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head.
45 Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet.
46 My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment.
47 Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.
48 And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven.
 The key phrase that really jumped out to me is in verse 47.  "Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much."

During the exchange that follows in the scriptures, Jesus uses a parable about a debt collector who cancels the amounts that two different people owe him.  One is forgiven a large amount; the other something lesser.  And then He poses the question "Which loves him more?"

Of course, someone who has been forgiven much loves much.

Those who've been forgiven, or accepted forgiveness for, just a little may be guilty of basing their faith on rote routine more than real relationship.  On the superficial and easy stuff not the nitty gritty hard part of making it through life where relationship is key.  A relationship with my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ is important to me.  I view Them not as some nebulous concept, but as real beings with whom I can have real conversations and share real emotions and real problems.  I want Them to be the central part of my life.  Even when it's messy.  And if it's a real relationship sometimes it will be messy because, face it, sometimes I'm a mess.

Thankfully, God is big enough to handle me when I'm a mess.  And he doesn't stop loving me when I stomp my feet like a petulant child because some part of life has become harder than I think it should be.  And if you think I wear my emotions on my sleeve for you to see... well, rest assured that I really don't hold back with God.  Whether it's good or it's bad, I let Him know about it full force.

I think it's a hard thing after an episode of streaming hot tears and loud foot stomping to find my way back to center... to bring my focus back to God being the central figure in all that I do, want and think.  Sometimes it takes time.  Time for me to forgive Him.  And to forgive myself.  And even more time to accept that He forgives me in all my foolish pride.  Sometimes I ask how He can forgive me because it just seems so illogical that He would love me that much.  I think most people would give up and call it too difficult.

Maybe that's the key?  He is God, not a person like you and me.

He doesn't try to be like us.  We try to be more like Him.  We try, imperfectly, to pattern our lives after His example of selfless loving service.  And, I think, it's in that giving of ourselves in service that we both demonstrate our love for Him and learn to know more about His very character.

If you are serving someone, it's impossible to hate them.

If you know the whole backstory, it's impossible to critically judge someone's choices.

If you give all you have toward loving someone, you see love only multiplies.  It doesn't divide.

And in this we begin to learn the economics of Heaven.  Hopefully that leads to wanting to use that same math here on earth.  Hopefully that brings God back to the center of everything we do, think, and say.

Hopefully that helps me be...
...a little kinder.
...a lot more humble.
...more willing to listen and learn.
...more open to seeing the good in hard situations.
...less quick to jump to an angry conclusion.
...more brave about sharing my faith with others.
Hopefully it leads me along a path where it can one day be said "she loved much!"

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