When the Cat's Away . . . the Mice Will Play

Fifth Reformed Church, Grand Rapids, MI

READ : Philippians 2:12-13

We ordinarily obey the instructions of a teacher, coach or parent when they are watching us. But how do you act when they are looking the other way?

Recently my daughter had a friend over to play. They were having a tea party outside in the backyard, complete with punch and cookies. My wife and I were watching unnoticed from our bedroom when some wildlife further back in our yard captured my daughter’s attention. My daughter’s friend finished her juice and cookies. While my daughter was investigating the wildlife her friend drank her punch and took half of her cookie. When my daughter returned and noticed the missing treats her friend simply shrugged her shoulders.

Our true character comes out when no one else is present. Paul’s teaching in this passage is not that we must earn God’s favor by works but that the evidence of our salvation by faith in Jesus is like a work-out. It is an ongoing process where we continue trying to live as Christ wants, building up spiritual strength and maturity.

written by Brian Telzerow


God, help me to grow into the kind of person you want me to be both when others are around and when I am by myself. Amen.