Our family recently acquired two cats whose previous owner needed to let them go because of a landlord’s demands. They are mature sisters and we were expecting two loving, playful pets. However, I have yet to see them because they hide out under beds and other secret places in our basement. They are truly “scaredy-cats.” We are hoping that in time they will adapt to their new surroundings and become tame and friendly.
Many new Christians go through a period in their faith journey where they are unsure, doubtful and perhaps intimidated by critics. I know I certainly did. When one is the only person in a crowd who believes differently about a moral issue, it is very tempting to keep quiet rather than make waves. In other words—be a scaredy-cat and hide. Like our cats, I wanted a secure, comfortable and non-threatening place which was out of the glare of exposure.
As one grows in the faith through study, experience, prayer and fellowship, one’s outlook and behavior should mature and make one ready to “give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” (1 Pe 3:15) We should also “be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of lawless men and fall from your secure position.” (2 Pe 3: 17-18) Acting in a scaredy-cat mode runs the risk of being ashamed of Jesus Christ and having Him be ashamed of us when He comes in His glory… (Lk 9:26) (Mk 5:36)
Another characteristic we sometimes associate with cats is curiosity. However, with humans rather than killing us, it will cause us to be rewarded with answers and growth in the faith. Is the earth really millions or even billions of years old? Or is it much younger as more and more scientists are now asserting? Did humans really evolve slowly from lower species or did God breathe into their nostrils the breath of life? (Gen 2:7) Are the changes we observe in living beings evolution or the natural development and adaptation implanted in their DNA from the beginning? These and many other questions can be answered when we grow from scaredy-cats into curious Christians.