When the Cat's Away

My wife and I were blessed with our seventh grandchild last week. Daisy Joy was born in Raleigh and is a beautiful, healthy child and she and her mother are coming along just fine. With the arrival of the grand event, my wife left to help them out, which left me “batching” it for the last few days.

The question is: What shape will she find our house in when she returns? Dirty dishes piled to the ceiling? The cat dying of starvation? The TV on and blasting because I was too lazy to shut it off? Of course, you know I wouldn’t be writing about it, if I had done those things.

The Apostle Paul was also in a quandary, like most missionaries, in wondering how he was going to find the Corinthian congregation on his next visit. Evidently, he didn’t have much hope. He was considering that he might even be mourning over their possible sins of “contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, backbitings, whisperings, conceits, tumults, uncleanness, fornication, and lewdness” (2 Cor. 12:20-21 NKJV). Woe. Say it ain’t so, Paul!

There lies the problem: How will we behave when we think no one is watching? Obviously, not good. Most crimes are still committed in the dark. Even people who call themselves Christians suffer from this. They know that God sees everything (Proverbs 15:3), yet the enticement of sin frequently is too strong to stop them from giving in to temptation. We wonder how that can possibly be.

Jesus gives us the answer. He asks, “Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8b). Really finding faith! What do criminals do before they act? They look to see if anyone is watching. What are Christians saying if they choose to sin? Either they don’t really believe that God can see, or they don’t believe He will punish them, or they think His grace will cover their intentional sins. Read Romans 6 to see the truth about that.

What are we to do? It all comes down to what we hope to find when we’re struggling – not grace that enables sin, but “let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16). Jesus will help us “hold fast our confession” (4:14). Will He find you faithful?