Saturday, May 21, 2016

Cat & Dog Theology

There’s a great book entitled Cat & Dog Theology: Rethinking Our Relationship with Our Master (find it on Amazon here). This book uses the common differences between cats and dogs to illustrate our views on God. See, a dog says, “You pet me, you feed me, you shelter me, you love me. You must be God." A cat, on the other hand, says, “You pet me, you feed me, you shelter me, you love me, I must be God."

Image source here
Now, we might never say that out loud, but that’s a temptation any time we speak of the blessings of God we receive as believers. Often when we see God bless us and promise us His presence and that He will take care of His children and so on, we can begin to think that all of this is about us (like a cat). But that’s not the way He designed it. Yes, He will bless us, but ultimately that blessing is not only for us; it’s in order to be a blessing to the nations and to take His presence and glory to those around us. Cats say, “You exist to serve me, God," while dogs say, “I exist to serve you, God." Cats see everything in the world (ncluding gifts they receive from God) as solely for their prosperity and comfort and pleasure, while dogs see everything in the world (including things they receive from God) as for their provision, yes, but mainly for His glory and service in the world.

I know that your cat is different, but most cats aren’t fiercely loyal. They seemingly could not care less whether you are there or not, unless it is to scratch their back or feed them. But I’m sure you’ve seen a dog wait by the front door all day for his master to get home, whining and yelping if they can see them but can’t get to them. Or sitting by your feet just hoping you would notice them and pat their head, wagging their tail the whole time just because they are with you. That’s what I want us to be, church. Like dogs with their masters, I want us to delight in the God who delights in us–not just so we can get more from some genie in a bottle granting us wishes, but so we can be so filled with love and joy and peace in Him that we overflow to those around us, using His blessings as ways to show off His glory to our neighbors and to the nations.

How have you seen yourself be cat-like in your theology and life?