Now when the Pharisee, who had invited Him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet He would know who and what sort of person this woman is who is touching Him, that she is a sinner.”
She has always intrigued me. Haunted me. Called out to me.
I require His forgiveness equally. But I don’t easily recognize it.
Have long prayed to be this aware of what I have received from Him.
May gratitude overshadow all pride, fear, insecurity – and overflow in humble expression.
No matter who’s looking.
Luke 7: 36 – 47
Spending today asking to be searched and made aware of sin.
So that I can recognize the expensive gift He gave.
So that I can give freely, lavishly, and expensively.
Not safely and comfortably – but expressively, demonstratively.
In order to talk about the love of God – His merciful gift of forgiveness – one must be deeply sincere, almost driven, to face the darkness, the foul blight, the oozing stain of sin. This is not a terribly popular thought, an even less attractive exercise. Why, when so many suffer from severe self-contempt, poor self-images, and profound relational emptiness, would anyone, especially a psychologist, encourage wounded strugglers to ponder wickedness? It sounds cruel, but it can be life-giving. How?
Yes. I want to be searched, and acknowledge that which keeps me from loving Him and others fully.
And trying to be faithfully expressive, not withholding of my love to Christ and to those He’s given me when it IS revealed to me. For example…
A few weeks ago, at our weekly couples’ Bible study, a new couple joined us. They are delightful, academic, devout, European newlyweds! We greeted them in the kitchen, took their coats, and began introducing them to the others in the group. Some time later, Kory (my oldest), walked in to the kitchen, smiled, thrust out his hand, and confidently, with eye contact said, “Hi, I’m Kory.”
Now that may not sound like a big deal to you, but this Mama was so proud. There was no prompting needed. No sullen, apathetic, rude teenager here, but a humble, respectful, polite, and welcoming young man – whose comfort zone, that gesture was probably a bit out of. I was sincerely amazed. I mean he’s a great kid, but this was grown-up stuff!
I mentioned how proud I was to Robert later that night. I even thanked the Lord for the work He is doing in my almost 15 year old. And then it occurred to me….why have I not expressed these sentiments to the one who made me so proud?
So, the next night as I was putting the boys to bed (yes, they still expect us to do this, and I’m not complaining!) I said, “Kory, I just wanted you to know how proud I was of you last night when you welcomed Luca and Jennie, and introduced yourself to them. That was a very kind and loving thing to do. Adults are especially blessed when a young person shows that kind of maturity and respect. Thank you so much for doing that.”
And this may also seem like no big deal to you, but recently I’ve realized that this is an area of sin in my life. Withholding love, affection, encouragement, compliment, appreciation. I might think it, but something keeps me from saying it, and I know it has so much to do with my pride (Appreciation requires humility) and a sense of entitlement (My kids should act this way, and without acknowledgment.). And not always. I’ve definitely grown in this area, but I’d like the prideful restraint to be gone completely. I think Jesus would, too. For my own benefit. Because He knows I will be more joyful. More free.
I’d like to more fully recognize the unrestrained love and acceptance of Christ – and that when I had done NOTHING pleasing to Him – and then return it lavishly in my devotion to Him and my love for others.
Being forgiven much. Loving much.