St John reminds of our dignity as members of God’s family but reminds us that if this is true then we should seek to live up to who we are as God’s children.
Think of the love that the Father has lavished on us, by letting us be called God’s children; and that is what we are. Because the world refused to acknowledge him, therefore it does not acknowledge us.
My dear people, we are already the children of God but what we are to be in the future has not yet been revealed; all we know is, that when it is revealed we shall be like him because we shall see him as he really is. Surely everyone who entertains this hope must purify himself, must try to be as pure as Christ.
1 John 3:1-3
The tradition of Clinical Theology warns us against a “hardening of the ‘ought’eries”. Certainly it is better if we live our life well in generous and direct response to the goodness and glory of God. And yet there are times when we need to rely on a sense of obligation and duty to get us going in the right direction, to overcome weakness or selfishness or carelessness.
- Which dimension – duty or immediate gratitude – most characterises your response to God?
- What might sometimes cause you to act out of the other dimension?
Speak with God about this in prayer.
War Memorial, Washington, DC, USA. (c) 2009, Allen Morris