Luke 7:37-47

And behold, a woman of the city, who was a sinner, when she learned that he was reclining at table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of ointment, and standing behind him at his feet, weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head and kissed his feet and anointed them with the ointment.

Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, for she is a sinner.”

And Jesus answering said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” And he answered, “Say it, Teacher.”

“A certain moneylender had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. When they could not pay, he cancelled the debt of both. Now which of them will love him more?”

Simon answered, “The one, I suppose, for whom he cancelled the larger debt.” And he said to him, “You have judged rightly.”

Then turning toward the woman he said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave me no water for my feet, but she has wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair.

“You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not ceased to kiss my feet. You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven–for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.”

This is one of my favorite passages of Scripture. It tells of the proper way to respond to forgiveness, with love and thanksgiving. So many times when we’ve lived in the darkest places, it’s easy to feel unworthy to approach God. But this woman was as low as you could possibly get in the society of the day, and she not only approached Jesus, she anointed his feet with oil and tears.

One of the most deceiving ploys of the devil is to stop us from showing this kind of love when we’ve been forgiven. He tells us that we’re not fit to come near to God. He points out our many failings to hold us back from worshiping the One who has forgiven us. I’ve fallen to this mind-set time and time again.

When we live in that kind of fear of God, we can’t truly worship, praise, or serve Him. Allowing yourself to wallow in doubt and pity will sooner or later lead you to think that there’s no point in trying anymore. That kind of fear keeps us held in the bonds of regret and depression, which can, in turn, lead us back into the lifestyle He pulled us out of in the first place. Trust me, I’ve been there.

The solution to this? Focus solely on God. Keep your eyes on Jesus. He wouldn’t have pulled us out of the mire and then refused to allow us to come to Him. He is worthy of our praise!

The next time you feel unworthy, remember this: we are unworthy! All of us! That’s what makes grace and mercy so beautiful. That’s why even the lowest of the low can sing praises when God lifts us up. Because it isn’t about us, it’s about Him. And He loves us with a love far beyond our understanding.

So praise Him. Worship Him. Give thanks to the One who pulled you out of the darkness. And you’ll find that slowly (or quickly) the bonds that hold you in self-doubt and regret will slip away. I hope that you find something here that helps or encourages you.