being · Church of England · Parish · training · vicarage life

Pigeon Holed Pigeons

It is a wonder that pigeons ever amount to anything. After all the rat-on-wings is literally pigeon-holed into a certain way of behaving and they have trouble shaking that image. Just ask Ken Livingstone who famously, while Mayor of London wanted to ban the iconic pigeons of Trafalgar Square.

It is sometimes a shock to discover that the Church of Christ is as guilty of pigeon holing people as the world at large. I am ashamed that I am guilty of assuming the behaviour of some folk based solely on my knowledge of their past deeds. This approach totally negates any expectation on my part that a person can change, or indeed that God may have been working in a person to change the way they think, act or view the world.

For me to assume someone cannot change is actually a form of Blasphemy. It is a view that takes no account of God, and the work of the Holy Spirit. So I want to stand now before God and say sorry for the times I have denied his spirit by writing people off.

A very wise lady, with whom I live, pointed out to me yesterday that God is not at all like this. Gods forgiveness means that He always expects the best of us, because he not only refuses to take into account our past deeds, he has forgiven them and forgotten them. So in every situation we find ourselves in, God expects the best of us. He has no other criteria. This of course means that he sets himself up to be disappointed by our constant failings.

It is a humbling thought. That when I say “sorry Lord I have failed again” He says “Thats OK, you are forgiven – what do you mean – again?”

So I shalll strive in my own life to act as God expects me too. And I will strive to be like him in my attitude to others.

I am sure I’ll get it wrong, and mess it up, but I know that He’ll forgive me.


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