The devotional is from Luke 7:36-50 where Jesus is invited to a Pharisee's house and while they are eating a very sinful woman - likely a prostitute - starts washing his feet with her tears and hair, she kisses his feet and anoints them with a costly perfume. The Pharisee is stunned: this man associates with sinners! Ack! You can just feel the self-righteousness oozing out of his pores.
Knowing the Pharisees thoughts, Jesus then tells Simon a short story about two men owing money.
41"Two men owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he canceled the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?"
43Simon replied, "I suppose the one who had the bigger debt canceled."
"You have judged correctly," Jesus said.
So Simon answered the question correctly and then Jesus goes straight to applying this to Simon's life and the prostitute's life.
44Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, "Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. 46You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. 47Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little."
Lovely, isn't it? The one who has been forgiven little, loves little. And she who has been forgiven lots, loves lots!
How does this relate to being real? Because one section of the devotional reminds us:
"Only the 'broken in spirit' grasp how vital and priceless the Lord's forgiveness is. The issue wasn't whether the woman's sins were greater than the Pharisee's. Rather, she understood her desperate need for Christ, which allowed her to love Him more. God is after authenticity; if we want a deeper relationship with Him, we must come as we are."
Ponder these verses with that in mind.
17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart,
O God, you will not despise.
10While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew's house, many tax collectors and "sinners" came and ate with him and his disciples. 11When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, "Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and 'sinners'?"
12On hearing this, Jesus said, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 13But go and learn what this means: 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice.' For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners."
The one who realizes his sinfulness and the depths from which God saved him loves God more. The "healthy" think they are OK, therefore, why do they really need to thank and love God?
Devotional from In Touch magazine, February 2010, pg. 15