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Woman at Jesus' feet (jackbigbox- Flickr)

Reflection: Whoever is forgiven little, loves little

Several years ago, I complained to a mentor that my relationship with God felt flat, distant and like I was going through the motions. On top of that, I found dealing with people increasingly frustrating and my patience waning. I was still doing the ‘stuff’, like attending church, reading my Bible, praying and serving, but somehow the joy, love and life had been sucked out of my faith.

After about 5-10mins of this rant, my wise older mentor interrupted with some short but surprising advice that I didn’t expect to hear. He simply said, “I think you should have a look at your repentance,” “Why?” I asked?

He suggested that “there was something about getting up close to our own sin and failings, that puts us in a better position to experience God’s forgiveness and love. And that once we understand how much we have been forgiven, it makes it so much easier to forgive others and extend God’s love towards them.”

This wise advice echoed the great story in the Bible where a sinful lady comes to Jesus and cracks a bottle of expensive perfume over his feet as a sign of her great love for him. People are outraged at the expense and extravagance of her gesture and wonder why Jesus isn’t embarrassed and sending this sinful woman away. His response is priceless.

“Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.” – Luke 7:44-47 NIV

So, maybe it’s true? Maybe my ability to love, serve, forgive, and bless others is directly linked to my ability to allow God to love, serve, bless and forgive me? And just maybe, if I spent more time focusing on God’s overwhelming grace towards me, it would flow much more naturally through me and onto others.

“…whoever has been forgiven little, loves little.”


Steve Drinkall is the Manager, Mission Engagement, Queensland Office of the Synod. 

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