Tears at His Feet

I’ve always tried to do what’s right. As a teenager, I didn’t give my parents a whole lot of trouble, and if I did do something wrong, I normally told them before they found out. Because of the choices I made, my friends in high school nicknamed me ‘The Puritan.’ I wasn’t too fond of that title, but I decided it was better to have people kid me for trying to follow the rules than the alternative.

So when it came to my faith, I didn’t have a dramatic turning point where, having hit rock bottom, I surrendered my life to God to save me. I grew up going to church, and I knew I was supposed to believe in God, so I did. My understanding of what following Christ entails grew as I grew, and I continue to learn today. But, while I am fully aware that I am a sinner (my kids remind me every day), I can simultaneously fall prey to the idea that I’ve done pretty well crossing my t’s and dotting my i’s.

This attitude may have clouded my understanding of Scripture.

The other day, I was reading the story in Luke chapter seven of the sinful woman who anointed Jesus’ feet with perfume and her tears. Simon, the pharisee who invited Jesus to his home for dinner, thinks to himself that, if Jesus were a prophet, he would realize what kind of woman is touching him. Jesus knows Simon’s thoughts and confronts him by sharing an illustration of a moneylender who forgives two debts–one small and one huge. He asks Simon who will love the moneylender more, and Simon answers that, of course, the person who had the bigger debt.

Jesus then compares the woman to the person who had the big debt–she could not stop kissing Jesus and anointing his feet because she knows what He would have to forgive: “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 7:47, New International Version, 2010).

I have read that story many times, and I’ve always walked away with the same understanding: How wonderful that I worship a God who accepts everyone, no matter one’s past! I must not live life like Simon, judging others, but instead, I must extend my arms to those who are outcast, showing them that God’s love is available to all–no one’s sin is too great to be forgiven.

And while these conclusions are valid, I fear I missed the greater point:

I am that woman.

No matter how hard I tried and continue to try to live an upright life, I am so far from God’s perfect standard that He should never forgive me. Compared to a holy and righteous God, I am not fit to stoop in His presence nor stand as an ambassador for His Son.

Yet He does forgive me.

And until I can realize the enormity of my unworthiness, I can never fully love Him who sacrificed all to clothe me in white, making me worthy.

“But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.”

And whoever has been forgiven little, forgives little. Until I can see past all the right choices that I have made to the depraved nature of my own soul, I will never fully be able to forgive those who have wronged me. Once I see that my sins aren’t placed against another’s on the Scales of Justice, once I stop comparing my wrongs to those wrongs committed against me, I will be free to forgive and love.

Once I take the painful look at myself for who I am, once I see the soiled condition of my soul, I will weep like the woman at Jesus’ feet–not out of despair or hopelessness–but, instead, out of an abundant and overflowing love. For my vision will no longer remain cloudy, my sight blurred by my list of meaningless works. And for the first time, I will see. I will see that my debt to forgive wasn’t small, and neither should be the love that I give He that forgave.


Now it’s your turn! How did God speak to you this week in regard to forgiveness?Link up your post, or add a comment below. Share the love, and comment on other blogs, too!


7 thoughts on “Tears at His Feet

  1. Once again, you have given so much food for thought. Yes, we are all “that

    woman.” But what an awesome God we serve that we can bask in the warmth of His love and forgiveness.:)

    C.S. Lewis said, “Only the truly forgiven are truly forgiving.”

    I love your blogs and look forward to them.

    One day i’ll tell you what they called me in high school.:)


    1. Thank you, Dot. I really had no intention of writing on this topic, but when I read that scripture the other day, I was overwhelmed.


  2. Amazing post, God granted introspection, wisdom from Him. Eloquent writing, but more, you taught that lesson as well as anyone I've ever heard, maybe even better… I'm not even kidding. God Bless you and yours, He certainly did me with your words.


    1. Thank you, Floyd. God really hit me over the head when I read this passage the other day. It's amazing how He works and when He chooses to reveal things that we otherwise hadn't noticed.


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