Cadbury’s make an amazing range of chocolatey goodness. Among their products, the Double Decker is a particular favourite of mine. Whenever they’re available in a meal deal, I go for them. The only thing is –  they’re not easily available in France (like most of Cadbury’s range).


Photo: Evan-Amos (Wikimedia), reused under CC license

So when I last went to England, I took a couple of Double Deckers back with me. And now I have a lone Double Decker left. And no matter how many times I’ve felt like eating it, I’ve always refrained. There are two reasons for this:

  1. I know that if I eat it now, I won’t have a chance to get another one for quite a long time – maybe not ever. I want to save it for when I really need it.
  2. I don’t deserve it. I haven’t achieved something that means I can have such a good treat. (That’s probably what stops me from eating too many Double Deckers when I’m in England)

These reasons are related, yet different: the former implies that the moment of eating should be special (as in, rare), whereas the latter simply implies that the Double Decker is special (as in, awesomely yummy).

On a small timescale, this behaviour kind of makes sense: rationing what’s in limited supply; avoiding to gorge on something special to the point that it would lose its specialness – but I think you’ll agree that dragging it on for months (as I have done) is perhaps a tad ridiculous.

And that it would be even more ridiculous if I were in England, with a near endless supply of Double Deckers if I just could nip down the shop to buy some.

Yet this is how we tend to treat Jesus’s forgiveness. We try to make amends for our own small failures, thinking we can get back into God’s good books through our own actions. When we do confess our sins, it has to be big enough to be worth it, you see. Otherwise, it’ll all be wasted. When we think like that, we are utterly wrong: we realise our sin, but:

So we try to sort out our problems on our own. Maybe it’s because we think that if we go and ask forgiveness too often, it’ll lose its awesomeness; or it’s because we think we don’t deserve it. The thing is: we don’t. Forgiveness is special, and completely undeserved. But that doesn’t mean the occasions where forgiveness is expressed should be special or rare.

So let’s fall into neither of these traps. Let’s not consider God’s forgiveness in the way I consider Double Deckers – as something that should be saved for when we have extra need of it; but let’s not consider it as a worthless thing that doesn’t merit our attention either.