What I’m Reading Today: Luke 7:36-50
There are many things about the society in which we live that I can honestly celebrate. There are other things about it that cause me incredible frustration. There is one thing in particular that drives me up a wall; how unforgiving we can be to one another.
If you read the newspapers, for instance, you’ll find story after story about how a person has made either a personal or professional mistake and was immediately taken down. All we seem to care about is either getting rid of the individual as fast as possible or making the individual into the punch line of jokes.
I’ve watched this happen in numerous areas. I watched it play out in the dynamics over what happened with former President Clinton, I watched it happen to the president of the National Evangelical Association Ted Haggard, and I watched it happen to Cy Young pitcher Roger Clemens. It is rare when we give an individual who has made a mistake the opportunity to move beyond it to a place of wholeness.
This approach stands in stark contrast to what Jesus was talking about in today’s reading when he spoke about forgiveness. In setting up the point of his story, Jesus laid out the following scenario: “Two men were in debt to a banker. One owed five hundred silver pieces, the other fifty. Neither of them could pay up, and so the banker canceled both debts. Which of the two would be more grateful?”
Simon fell into “trap” beautifully by saying, “I suppose the one who was forgiven the most.”
Jesus then used that answer to justify the inclusion of those who society might consider “screw ups”.
Today I would ask you to consider whether or not there is someone in your life – a loved one or perhaps a celebrity – in whose fall you were quick to respond with judgment or dismissal: someone whom you thought was beyond the possibility of redemption. If you find that someone, consider the powerful things that might happen if you did what Jesus did - created room for the person to demonstrate the transformative effect of the forgiveness they have experienced.
Til next time…