Jesus said that the woman who washed His feet with her tears loved much, and, because of this, she was forgiven much.
Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little. —Luke 7:47, KJV
Are there big sins and little sins? Do some people need more forgiveness than others do?
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God —Romans 3:23, KJV
In God’s eyes, sin is sin. The liar, the gossip and the murderer are each sinners. When Jesus died on the cross, His death became the final sacrifice for all sin. In Jesus’ death, we all received the ability to be reconciled to God.
The forgiveness we receive is for the one common fault—not recognizing the sovereignty of God, not acknowledging Jesus as Lord of our lives, and not admitting that we are short of the mark and separated from God by an act of will.
For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God. —John 3:17-21, KJV
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. —Romans 10:9-11, KJV
When we were separated from God, we reacted to the needs and wants of our flesh, our own will, plan and desires for our lives. We were the focus of our existence.
When our focus shifts to the recognition of God’s great love, that He loved us while we were yet sinners and sent His only Son, Jesus, to die so that we might live, we are filled with the love of God. At that moment, we realize the depths of our selfishness and darkness. We realize that we love God because He first loved us. The outpouring of this revelation awakes a desire in our hearts to love others as God loved us.
Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as He is pure. —John 3:1-3, KJV
Jesus loved much, and during His crucifixion, when He assumed all the sins of the world, He, instead of us, was forgiven much. In that moment, every sin of every person that had been and would ever be committed was forgiven. God poured out His love so that any person who acknowledged Him would be emptied and forgiven, then filled up with the love of God.
Walking out the love of God is easier when we remember that we have been forgiven much. This enables us to understand the stress and challenge that people face every day. We can be patient listeners, avid helpers, compassionate and eager to assist others in their struggles. Through our sincere demonstration of God’s love, we offer light in a dark and hopeless world.
While some people are empathic, many have difficulty understanding the problems of others. If you have experienced a particular problem, you will have a measure of sympathy and understanding for others who are battling the same issues. Honestly, it is easier to identify with people who share our experiences.
For Christians who understand the depth of their sin and the breadth of God’s forgiveness understanding, grace and love may come more easily. However, we do not have to experience something to achieve the ability to show love to others.