Two Kinds of People
Luke 7:47 Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.
I wrote yesterday of the two kinds of children in Sunday School, both keeping their eyes open during the prayer. One knows she is doing wrong, but does it anyway. The other, blind to his own transgression, can only see her failure and feels it is his religious duty to point it out.
It is an amusing illustration but the problem of course, is that the two kids grow up. The arrogant, condescending boy grows into an arrogant, condescending man, pointing out the sins of others. Like the Pharisee (Simon in this passage), he is convinced of his own inherent goodness, all the while remaining blind to his own defect. The other, graduates into grown-up defects, continuing to know wrong, but doing it anyway.
Which one is more likely to meet with forgiveness? Which one is more likely to come to know and love God? Neither will, if they do not turn to God, but only the one who recognizes his or her need can do so. The one who is blind to his need will never truly seek God. He may well remain in Sunday School his entire life and never come to know forgiveness as it is unnecessary.
I used to lament my boring life story. You may or may not be familiar with the idea of testimony, but it was common in my upbringing to hear the story of one whose life involved horrific crime and destruction before turning to God. Theirs was a dramatic testimony. My story was boring. I was born a Christian. The end.
I thought I had no testimony of forgiveness to tell. The problem was not that I had no defect. I was just blind to it and thus, had never really allowed God to change me. I was the Pharisee, knowing that I was fantastic, looking down on those who were not.
There are two kinds of people. Those who know they need God and those who do not. If someone does not see their need for God, they just do not need God. Thus, they will never come to know forgiveness. Jesus said only those who have been forgiven love God. The more they have been forgiven, the more they love.
The difference, I think, is not so much the quantity or quality of defect one has, but rather the recognition of that defect. If you asked me five years ago what God had saved me from, I would have told you He saved me from hell. As important as that may have been, I was missing the point. I saw eternal life only as some far off, intangible reward. I did not know that I needed to be saved, here and now, from myself.
God’s life in me is for now. This is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God (John 17:3). There are two kinds of people, those who know God and those who do not. Only those who see their need, turn to God for forgiveness. Only those who find forgiveness, know and love God.
The Seeds of the Spirit is a daily blog based on a walk through the New Testament. Written from the perspective of my own addiction, it explores the common defects of our flesh nature and the solution, our spirit life. If you find it helpful, sign up for the blog as a daily email, tell your friends and like/share it on Facebook.