Who knew such biblical wisdom could come from Sherlock’s mouth?
I’m slightly kidding. But really, this quote from him deserves a moment:
“Bitterness is a paralytic, but love is the greatest motivator.”
I thought about my own life, and the giant mess bitterness has created. The anger. The tears. The raging conversations in my head (I know I’m not the only one here:). The effects it had in my conversations with people, in my actions, in my heart.
Clinging. Desperately. For control. Because I. know. best.
I know the punishment deserved. And I know the very vengeance I will enact, in explicit detail, gosh darnit.
The lack of trust. The lack of belief. Was utterly disgusting. Dripping with pride. Oozing with deceit and sin and darkness and hatred and ugliness.
And everything but love.
Everything but the love displayed in total perfection and unmatched humility and beauty and selfless surrender and incredible sacrifice at the cross.
And then there’s this verse.
“Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven– for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.” Luke 7:47 (emphasis mine)
You guys. This verse. It is humbling.
To recognize the massive outpouring of grace. To see oneself as nothing without that grace. As utterly dependent on that grace. The grace that was undeserved, and was granted on no account of our own.
And the result of that recognition?
You have been forgiven much.
Yes. Bitterness and love are opposite.
Bitterness does not forgive.
Bitterness does not trust the judge. It acts as judge.
Bitterness is selfish and self-focused. Love is selfless and self-sacrificing.
Bitterness sees another’s flaws first. Love sees its own flaws first.
Bitterness controls for its own sake. Love releases for the sake of something greater.
Bitterness does not see itself in need of grace. Bitterness is blind to the massive grace and forgiveness it was bestowed.
Love is humbled by the grace and forgiveness it was granted.
In recognizing the enormity of our own forgiveness, we will learn to love much.
And that begins at the foot of the cross. With the recognition of the greatest and most undeserved gift ever granted.
Bitterness paralyzes. It paralyzes one to self. It entraps one in one’s world.
That. is. the. very. result. of. a. sin. cursed. world.
The uncanny ability to focus on self and only self.
Love frees. Loves motivates. Love moves one beyond himself.
Love sees itself as wretched. Undeserved. The worst of sinners.
Love recognizes it was granted grace. That the wretched ugliness has been forgiven. And redeemed.
Through the greatest love act ever demonstrated.
And then demonstrates that very same selfless love. Without hesitation.
To a bitter and aching world.