This morning I’m brooding over the woman in Luke 7 who washed Jesus’ feet with her tears and what Jesus said about her. Jesus explained to Simon the disgruntled Pharisee the parable of the creditor with two debtors: the debtor who was forgiven the most, loved the most. I marvel at how true that is!
Every time I am forgiven, my relationship with God deepens. I let Him love me more, and I love Him more. I experience more fully the life of Jesus within me. And the bond between us, our precious and inexplicable union, becomes more a reality than it was the day before. I love my Father, and I love my King, and I love my Spirit! Every day is a new dance with Him.
I Am a Debtor Falling in Love Through Forgiveness
It seems like receiving forgiveness and forgiving others becomes ever more natural and less complicated the more you do it. The more God shows me of the vast, Everest-like mountain of forgiveness I require, the more joy I have in extending forgiveness to someone else. I forgive more readily because I see more fully how desperately in need of forgiveness I am. I should clarify here and say that when I am in the reality of how much God has forgiven ME, then it’s a joy to forgive. I can pull on my pride boots and goose-step all over the place in righteous indignation as quick as anyone. But the more I am forgiven, the easier it becomes to let go of the hurts and offenses that come my way.
The drama of “deigning” to forgive others fades pretty quickly when the Spirit illuminates my own heart of darkness. I imagine that’s true for everyone who’s willing to acknowledge the truth about themselves when the Spirit brings it. That’s what’s so brilliant about the way God set it up. I know that there are some offenses, some wounds so big that forgiveness is a process, and I’m not necessarily addressing that particular work. But could it be that the daily work of repentance and forgiveness is training and discipline for the deeper suffering when it comes? “We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God” (Rom. 8:28). How fortunate for us that God knows exactly what it takes to bring His debtors to love!