Have you made a committment this year to NOT go into debt on Black Firday? Will you choose to only buy what you can afford in cash? Debt is such a prison. Remember the one in debt is slave to the lender. The moneylender holds your freedom in check.
Today and for the balance of this week let's reflect on this story about gratitude.
36 Now one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, so he went to the Pharisee's house and reclined at the table. 37 When a woman who had lived a sinful life in that town learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee's house, she brought an alabaster jar of perfume, 38 and as she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.
39 When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, "If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner."
40 Jesus answered him, "Simon, I have something to tell you."
"Tell me, teacher," he said.
41 "Two men owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42 Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he canceled the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?"
43 Simon replied, "I suppose the one who had the bigger debt canceled."
"You have judged correctly," Jesus said.
44 Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, "Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. 46 You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. 47 Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little."
Imagine having Jesus at your Thanksgiving feast! This Pharisee gets to have the King of Kings and Lord of Lords in his home for dinner! God in four walls! Amazing.
This is a story about gratitude. This is a story about understand our debt. This is a story about total debt forgiveness.
Dave Ramsey can give great advice about getting out of debt. He will tell you to cut up your credit cards (do a credit card "plastictomy"). He will tell you to create an emergency fund. He will tell you to tackle your debts one at a time. He will NOT, however, write you a check! He will help you get out of debt but will not pay all the debts for you!
I wish he would. But that's not real. If you are in debt it is your burden to repay. The culture frowns on people that do not pay back what they owe. There is a reason they call the guy that collects on a debt a "loan shark"! They do not call him the loan bunny!
In this story Jesus wants us to reflect on our debt burden. We are not talking about money, we are talking about life choices. We are talking about how we measure up to the 10 Commandments. We are talking about how we measure up to a holy God. Paul said,
"There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one. Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit. The poison of vipers is on their lips. Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness. Their feet are swift to shed blood; ruin and misery mark their ways, and the way of peace they do not know. There is no fear of God before their eyes." Romans 3When we rightly understand our debt we will better understand what it means to have that debt totally paid for. We will understand how significant it is when the Moneylender cancels all our debts.
Jesus spells out the rest for us and really shows us the key to an attitude of gratitude: "he who has been forgiven little loves little".
This does not mean that the price Jesus paid was worse for the prostitute than for the smug Pharisee. The price for their sin was the same. So, in what way can someone be "forgiven little"? Only in their understanding of their debt! The debt paid to release the angry man is the same to release the murderer. The debt to release a white liar is the same to release the defrauder old people's retirement.
He who has been forgiven little loves little and he who has been forgiven much will love much out of gratitude.
How much have you been forgiven? Are you in touch with your debt? Pretty amazing that Someone is willing to pay for it ... all of it.
Reread the section from Romans 3 above. Is the Holy Spirit speaking to you about any of those "debts"?
Take time to love on Jesus some this Thanksgiving. Take time to tell Him how grateful you are for your debt cancel notice. Oh and spread that gratitude to your family this week. Let them see what it looks like to love Jesus. Let your home be filled with the perfume of praise.
DevoLink: Devotions to help you Link with God.