Gratitude of the Transformed

Gratitude of the Transformed

A certain moneylender had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. When they could not pay, he cancelled the debt of both. Now which of them will love him more? Luke 7:41-42

Early in recovery, when life was still an absolute disaster, I turned desperately to God. My career was over, my marriage was a mess, and I was trying to figure out how to live without the crutch I’d used for years. In that desperation, I learned faith. I came to rely on God because I had nothing else in which to trust. As life began to come back together, I expressed profound gratitude to God. Out of the ashes, I found a new, fantastic life for which I was tremendously thankful.

A few years later though, and my gratitude has faded somewhat. That job that I promised I’d never complain about, sometimes causes me to whine. I don’t feel like going to work today. As life has returned to normal, the temptation is to become complacent. I’m fine now.

What’s changed? I still need God. I don’t need him any less than I did back then. What has changed, is my perspective. With time, my gratitude has dimmed as I’ve become spoiled by the good things God has given me.

In today’s passage, Jesus explained a similar perspective. In the story, a woman with a poor reputation washed Jesus feet. A nearby Pharisee was offended. She is a sinner (Luke 7:39)! In response, Jesus told the parable of the money lender who forgave one debtor a little and one a lot. Her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little (Luke 7:47).

The point is not that we need to go out and sin a lot, so that we can be forgiven a lot, so that we can love God a lot. The point is that we need to continually rely on God for forgiveness and transformation. We have no lack of failure and struggle in our lives. It’s just that we easily grow complacent, refusing to allow God to work on us.

Daily, we must realize how much we’ve been forgiven. We need to humbly accept how much God still has to do for us, and we must continually abandon ourselves, following him. We’ve not arrived yet. We still require transformation. In participating in the process, our love for God will grow as we realize how much he’s truly done for us.


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