“…whoever has been forgiven little loves little.”Luke 7:47B
A community characterized by genuine repentance will be:
- extravagant in gratitude to God for his mercy.
- extravagant in extending mercy to others.
- extravagant in joy.
Sadly, the church’s teaching on repentance has been stereotyped with the most grotesque of caricatures, the repentant sinner often being portrayed in some perpetual state of self-loathing, mourning, and groveling before God.
Quite the contrary, a community that is filled with repentant sinners is quite inviting and free from condemnation. Broken people feel welcome there; they draw hope from the transparency of others; they don’t feel that they have to put on a mask in order to be accepted. Everybody gives grace and receives grace.
We are all broken. We need mercy and forgiveness. Being accepted for who you really are is so much more satisfying that being accepted for a mask you put on. Wearing a mask is too much work.