“Her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but the one who is forgiven little, loves little.” And he said to her, “Your sins have been forgiven. … Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” Luke 7:47–50
Jesus suggests that we imagine ourselves to be debtors who owe more than we could ever repay. Our sin is like that debt. The correct response to the forgiveness of such a debt is love. How much we love God for making forgiveness available through Christ indicates how much we value what he’s done for us, how much we value having him for us rather than against us. Our love should be intense because of how much we need to be forgiven. If we see our sins only as little peccadilloes, which haven’t really offended God much, then we will not delight much in the forgiveness he offers, or in the one who forgives us. So we need to remember two truths. 1) When we fail to honor the infinitely glorious God with our confidence, gratitude, and joyful obedience, we offend him; we commit treason against him that is infinitely heinous and deserving of his infinite displeasure. 2) Jesus’ death for our sins shows us how much God desires us to find our craving for happiness satisfied in him. With this in mind, we can love him as much as he deserves to be loved, because he first loved us enough to overcome all the obstacles our sin puts in the way of experiencing his goodness. Infinite forgiveness should beget infinite love.
What a delight it is, O Lord, to be free of the barriers my sin has placed between us. How satisfying you are to the longings of my soul. Amen.