Personal Maintenance vs Passionate Mission

By the third month of this New Year, is it too soon to maybe pause for a brief evaluation of the first quarter of this year? When you think about this first quarter, has your prayer life been focused on your ‘personal maintenance or passionate mission?’ That question was presented by our pastor. As I was jotting the question down, Dr. Bernie Cueto began to share an example of the difference between a Christian whose life is about ‘personal maintenance’ and a Christian whose life is about ‘passionate mission.’ I smiled when pastor began to use Dog and Cat Theology to explain the difference. I smiled because twelve years ago, one of our pastor’s best friends was visiting us and he was so enthusiastic about this ‘Dog and Cat Theology’ that he had just been learning about in seminary! ‘Dog and Cat Theology’ is a great allegory about two categories of believers. Some believers are more like dogs and some believers are more like cats. David Murphy started the explanation with a question. “When the master returns home, who is the first to run for the door, if a cat and a dog lives in the house?” Usually it is the dog. With dogs–it is all about the Master; whereas with cats it is all about the cat (who serves the cat). I got so excited about this illustration. During the last 38 years of knowing Jesus, I have seen such a distinction among believers.

Some Christians believe they are saved to serve God (Dog: it is all about the Master); whereas many Christians believe they are saved so God can serve them (Cat: it is all about the cat). These God-given traits of cats (‘you exist to serve me’) and dogs (‘I exist to serve you’) are often similar to the theological attitudes we have in our view of God and our relationship to Him.


So has the first quarter of this New Year been more about ‘being a cat’ and waiting on the staff of heaven to serve you? Or has this first quarter been more about ‘being a dog’ and looking to bring pleasure to the Master? I don’t type this casually-I am concerned that too much of the first quarter of this year has been about my ‘personal maintenance’ rather than being passionately on mission.

(Disclaimer: For all cat lovers…this is an illustration…not an indictment against precious felines.)

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