I love the verse in Luke that says, “She was forgiven many, many sins, and so she is very, very grateful. If the forgiveness is minimal, the gratitude is minimal” (Luke 7:47, The Message).
This is speaking of the woman, the harlot of the town, who came to the feet of Jesus and poured out perfume that was worth a year’s wages. Not only did she pour out the perfume but her tears. She was emptying herself of everything. It was a surrendering to Jesus that others didn’t understand.
I can personally understand this woman, for it was 17 years ago that I came to an altar and poured out myself at the feet of Jesus. I began to surrender everything that was holding me back from a relationship with him. I learned then and there that the greater the forgiveness, the greater the gratitude.
I don’t need to go into a lengthy list of all of my sins. But I can tell you that there were definitely many. Yet the day I went to the altar of what would become my church, every single one of those sins were poured out and I experienced a level of forgiveness that I never imagined. In turn, I felt a depth of gratitude that is very difficult to express.
Sometimes when we come from backgrounds where we have done some pretty terrible things, we get hung up on them. We relive them in our mind and begin to question God’s ability to forgive. But God’s forgiveness is great and the more He has to forgive you for, it just means the more you have to be grateful for.
The grace of God is simple (in that He freely offers it) yet it’s so complicated in that we can’t understand how He can so easily offer it. But it is there for the taking. It is a gift to you. The more He has had to forgive you for, the greater your gratitude should be.