I got talking with my friends little sister recently, she is the last born of 5 children, she was narrating to me how much she gets away with in her childhood and how her siblings are so quick to point out how she gets away for the same things they were disciplined for.
It was funny to me because I could relate too, I grew up with two older sisters with good gap between us, so I think my parents softened even more as the years went by, my brother, who is the last definitely had in best, I would see my mum react to situations with him a lot mildly than she did when I was his age, sometimes it irked me so bad and other times I just thanked God for the luck he had.
But it occurred to me that she didn’t necessarily soften up, rather she gave him room to grow, even if the timeframe for his growth seemed longer than mine.
My mind went back to the ‘sinful’ woman in Luke 7:36-50 who wet Jesus legs with her tears and then wiped it with her hair, proceeded to pour expensive perfume on His head. The bible tells us that the Pharisee whose house they were in despised Jesus in his heart because he thought Jesus should have been able to tell that she was a sinner and by this Pharisees standards, a sinner should not be allowed to come that close to the master.
The bible says that Jesus, perceiving this mans thoughts, gave him a parable describing two debtors, one owing a lot more than the other, the master forgave them both and he asked the Pharisee, “who will love the masters more?” And he responded saying the one who owed more, and Jesus concluded that parable saying “yes, whoever has been forgiven little, loves little”.
While Jesus is not a flawed parent who might unconsciously show favouritism in his dealings with His children, He is a just God who meets us all where we are.
As believers, we see and encounter new converts often, especially if we belong to a community of fellow believers, we might or might not have noticed that the new converts could get away with certain things but you who’ve been there longer might not. Not because God loves them more, but they’re yet to come to a knowledge and understanding that you already walk in and hence, it appears like they have it a little easier.
New converts are like the debtor who owed a lot more and so are excited when the master forgives, but we, the second debtors who owe little cannot begin to envy or despise the other debtor or even the master for forgiving the one who owed much more.
It’s the same spirit that was in the older son in the prodigal story. He had access but compared himself and celebration to his younger brother who had just become aware of his access and received it.
We cannot work against ourselves in the kingdom by comparing and contrasting because frankly, we’re not all in the same phase through our journey with God. God deals with us individually and so we must view even fellow believers as also on their own course with God
The moment you begin to imagine another believer has it smoother or God loves them more, you’ve stepped into the spirit of the older son and that’s not Gods desire for us.
He loves us all and maybe sometimes when it appears that the new converts are getting it easier like younger siblings. It’s an encouragement for them to grow and be more in God.
Don’t be the knowledgeable Pharisee judging the sinful woman for a knowledge she was just stepping into.