Just why does a cat linger near a birdtable? Hmmm. Trying to look innocent, and viewing me with disdain. He’s not ours; but he deigns to allow a limited fuss, especially ears and chin. Only when he’s in the mood. I do like cats, but he’s not very cuddly.
He rather reminds me of a few people I’ve known! Those who are happy to take what they “need” or want; or permit friendship only when it suits them.
At times I regret I have treated God in that way. I’ve sought my needs, bargained for my “wants” and generally been a disciple on my own terms. God has been very gracious and exceedingly patient even though I have lacked passion and commitment. It isn’t that I set out to be self-absorbed or ungrateful. It happens and I’m not so good at keeping myself in line. There are moments when God could have a photo of me behaving like this cat! As if waiting until God turned attention elsewhere makes my “little” rebellions less serious.
Grace is undeserved favour given freely. As we encounter God’s deep gracious love, we have a choice. We could spurn it. OR we can do what John said in one of his letters:
1 John 1:9-10 (Good News Translation): “But if we confess our sins to God, he will keep his promise and do what is right: he will forgive us our sins and purify us from all our wrongdoing. If we say that we have not sinned, we make a liar out of God, and his word is not in us.”
Reflecting on that truth surely should make us willing to be honest: are there things, places, or people I linger with until God looks away? Is my life heading in the right direction, or am I continuing to be selfishly self-indulgent?
St Paul wrote about the strange idea that Christians sometimes hold that suggests if we keep on deliberately sinning, God’s OK with that because “He loves forgiving sin.” Romans 6 v1 says “Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of his wonderful grace?”
The very next words are “Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it?” (v2)
God faithfully shows us grace. Our best response? Receiving that love and reciprocating in word and action!