Luke 7:47-49 says: “Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.” And he said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” Then those who were at table with him began to say among themselves, “Who is this, who even forgives sins?”And he said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”
As I was driving home after forgiving a friend who had hurt me I asked myself: When other people sin against me and I forgive them, will their love for me grow? Or vice versa? When I hurt someone and they forgive me will my love for them grow? Is pain, hurt and forgiveness in the midst of a personal relationship one of many instruments that God sometimes uses or allows to happen in order to have love grow for one another and to also have more love for God? It made me think of the verse mentioned above. I believe once the offender, as you will, realizes and understands the undeserved hurt that was caused and sees the forgiveness and kindness they have received from the offended, their love, and respect (might I add), will not only grow for the person whom they have hurt but more importantly and more centrally for Yeshua (Jesus) because all sin is sin against YHWH (God) first and foremost (Psalms 51:4, Jeremiah 33:8).
I very much relate personally with the woman who is mentioned in the biblical passage in Luke. I have made a lot of mistakes, I have sinned very heavily, and I have hurt my soul, my relationships with loved ones and my relationship with my wonderfully kind God. And even with all my constant, daily short comings, He still immensely loves me and calls me His beautiful bride (Isaiah 62:5). What grace! What love and kindness! My gosh! And it only “becomes” grace, love and kindness —in a personal sense, because He is gently showing me (also a gift from God) the burden of my filthiness and sin, the battles He went through, the betrayal, the spitting, the mocking, the misunderstanding, the scourging, the nailing, the thirst, the coldness, the nakedness, the shame, the blood, the beautiful and perfect bond that was broken with the Father…He went through all of that with joy, in order to forgive me, to take my crown of brittle thorns and adorn my head instead with precious stones of salvation (Isaiah 61:10). I watched The Passion of the Christ the other night with my significant other and while watching the movie with tears falling down my face, I kept asking God in my head…”why, why did you do this? I don’t deserve this Yeshua…why????” and the only reply I received was “because I love you”. That’s when a genuine love and delight for Christ violins its way into one’s heart. When one understands how undeserving they are to be truly forgiven by God- who is pure and perfectly good and understands what needed to happen in order to be forgiven, they stop being tuned deaf and begin to hear the heavenly, echoing sounds of His perfect, unremitting love. Those sounds begin to fill the blank music sheets of your heart with intricate and sophisticated notes of deep gratitude and a love for Him you know you can never mimic or play back to Him or to others perfectly. Have you ever listened to a piece of music and wanted to mimic the song with a piano or violin? My memory takes me to the piano pieces in the song Clocks by Coldplay or All of Me by John Legend…it was really tedious and difficult to learn how to play those notes perfectly, I was just able to learn the chords and that was hard in itself, but when I played them right, joy and excitement entered my heart.
There is also another symphony arrangement at work here… knowing how much one has been forgiven, one can now forgive a person who has hurt them all the more quicker— easier said than achieved, by all means. And I ask myself why… why is this so important to you, YHWH? And one word boldly comes to mind: Humility. He wants us to play notes of humility. The reason being is because God can not use one who is proud; His Kingdom was made for the humble. Jesus says in Matthew 5:2-3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.” The very first words of Yeshua on His very first sermon on the mount was about the humble spirit. Scripture also tells us how God gives grace to the humble, and it is that very grace that saves.
I see an array of instrumental attributes of love, grace, humility, forgiveness, pain, and conviction composed into perfect harmony playing different tunes, all to create a celestial masterpiece called the Christian Walk. What notes are we choosing to play as we walk thru His garden? My only hope is that each step we take acts as beautifully played keys, and the more we better yield to the notes on display written by God, with the help of the Holy Spirit, the better it will sound, all for His glory and the more joy we will have in our hearts.
Romans 6:1-2, 12-13 says: “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness.”