What The Gruffalo Forgot
If you have any reason to engage with children’s books, you’ve probably come across The Gruffalo. If not, here’s your spoiler alert.
The story follows an innovative mouse who escapes danger by hiding behind the power of others.
First, he avoids being eaten by Owl, Fox and Snake by pretending he’s meeting a ‘Gruffalo’ – a scary predator-friend who he’s made up.
Then, when he comes across an actual Gruffalo, the mouse avoids being lunch by convincing the Gruffalo that he, a small rodent, is the scariest beast of all.
The result? Our tiny friend dodges death and is left in peace. And we’re meant to cheer - “Good job, little mouse!”
Except lately, I haven’t.
Don’t get me wrong. A character getting munched isn’t my idea of a better ending. But I feel sad about the Gruffalo. He’s manipulated and overpowered by a mouse.
He seems weak. A bit stupid. But his problem isn’t his intellect or strength. It’s that he’s forgotten who he is.
A Gruffalo could beat a mouse. He’s got a poisonous wart and terrible claws. But he believes a lie that makes him forget that.
He becomes weak. Vulnerable. Conquerable.
God gives his children the same, powerful Holy Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead (Romans 8:11).
He gives us power to live new lives of being obedient to Jesus and going to war with our sin (Colossians 3:5).
But sometimes, we’re like the Gruffalo.
We act like we have no power to face something God says is no longer our master (Romans 6:14). We forget we can defeat our sinful nature because of our adoption.
The Gruffalo forgot who he was. He forgot he had the power to defeat the mouse.
Christian, don’t forget who you are. And don’t forget the Spirit’s power to help you defeat sin.