“Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.” -Luke 7:47
I don’t think I can speak about the woman with the perfume enough, about the very reflective nature of our own relationship with Jesus Christ. Often our own ability to love and forgive others is in direct proportion to how much forgiveness and love we ourselves have availed ourselves of.
The parable of the talents again shows us this principle in action, Matthew 25:14-30. For those who don’t know the tale, a master gives his servants some talents to invest for him. They all do and make a profit, except one who says, “Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.” He is called the wicked and slothful servant.
“I knew you to be a hard man.” Perception is everything. So if you believe you serve a harsh, judgmental Master, you will behave accordingly. What you believe is everything. It influences our behavior and colors our lives. We will project our own beliefs about God and about ourselves onto those around us. Notice the fear too, “I was afraid.” John 4:18 tells us, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.”
Proverbs 4:23 says, “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.“ A heart is a bit like a belief system, what you think, perceive, and feel about God and about yourself is vitally important. We are called to radically love our God, love ourselves, and love our neighbors. God is a God of abundance not scarcity, so in the very act of giving away love we actually gain more for ourselves. In the story of the woman with the perfume and the talents there’s a very miserly spirit behind those tales, as if we shouldn’t waste that perfume, we shouldn’t risk losing those talents. We learn however, that the very nature of grace is abundant, plentiful, it multiples out in the world. We often receive it back in the same measure we are willing to extend it to others.
“…to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.”