'When one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. 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.
Every time I read this passage, it deeply touches my heart.
I relate so much to the Pharisee in this passage.
So many times I've been so wrapped up in legalism that I miss the sins I am committing right in front of my face. I pray that we don’t let the lie that we tell ourselves, that we are somehow better or more worthy than others for any reason, keep us from seeing our own sin. I pray that we don’t categorize ourselves differently than other sinners and let that keep us from ministering to them and loving them because Jesus loved and ministered to everyone. Jesus loved us and died to save us while we were just terrible broken sinners, and He gave us a new life, name, identity, purpose, and freedom. The message of the gospel is that no one is too far gone to be loved, valued, and saved by Christ's love.
I think sometimes we make the great mistake of thinking that because we are calling out injustice, and because we are not engaging in the acts of the unjust groups we are calling out, we are immune to sin. We should always, always, always stand up for the oppressed, share the gospel, and defend those who need defending, and we are called to do it peacefully in love. However, we are never immune to our own wrong doings. Sometimes I find myself down the dangerous path of almost forgetting that I need to be watchful, cautious, and working against my own sinful nature. Through comparison and pride, I forget I'm a sinful person who needs God’s strength and help and needs his grace just as much as everyone else. When we start to separate other people from ourselves, when we think they are somehow “worse sinners” than us or unlovable because of some affiliation, action, or choice, we lose the ability to minister to them. And how can someone have a real heart transformation without Jesus and being loved on and ministered to as Jesus would do that? We are all sinners, and if we’ve accepted Christ’s free gift of salvation, we are saved, freed, and forgiven. Our job isn’t to do the separating of who’s lovable or not to God, it’s to love our enemies, pray for them, and share the gospel in word and action.
“Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God.”
1 John 4:11-15