So, here is the question for us. What makes a good saint? Is a good saint someone whose life is more moral than someone else's or is that the issue at all?
In Luke 7:36-50 Jesus is eating in the home of a religious man (a Pharisee) and that man is astounded when a sinful woman enters the house and cleans Jesus' feet. He thinks Jesus should have nothing to do with her, but Jesus tells a short parable to illustrate why the woman is valuable and why her gift ultimately makes her a saint. He says that two men with debts they could not pay had them canceled. Then he asked the religious man which one would be more appreciative. The religious man replied correctly that it would be the one with the bigger debt that was canceled. Later, the story is concluded by Jesus forgiving the woman's sin and saying of her, "her many sins have been forgiven—for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little."
The woman and the religious man both had a debt of sin that they could never hope to repay. Jesus came to earth to cancel those debts of sin. The issue was that only the sinful woman seemed to appreciate that so only she became a saint - at least as far as we know from Luke's account.
Which brings us back to my question: What makes a good saint and how much does it have to do with my level of morality? In that regard, are there good saints and bad saints or are there just sinners (people far from God) or saints (people saved through Christ)?
Dallas Willard writes:
The greatest saints are not those who need less grace, but those who consume the most grace, who indeed are most in need of grace - those who are saturated by grace in every dimension of their being. Grace to them is like breath. (Renovation of the Heart, Pg. 93-94)So, how do you see it? What makes a good saint and is it measured by one's moral standing or some other measurement? Depending upon how we answer this determines how we see the issue of spiritual formation and maturity. Is my pursuit as a saint of God simply to manage sin and morality better or to take on the character and countenance of Jesus? Unfortunately, you can do the former without giving any attention to the latter and in so doing, you might be missing the whole point.
So, what makes a good saint?