Monday, August 27, 2007

My brother and I were talking on the phone yesterday (he's coming to visit us tomorrow...Yay!). He was telling me a story about his dogs (we'll call them M and D). They are both good dogs, but one of them tends to do things he shouldn't when no one is present.

When it comes to food, the temptation is just to great for M's canine nature. He must have whatever is out in the open. Sometimes he can't wait until humans leave, and will take advantage of opportunities when presented inadvertently. He is not a bad dog, he is behaving as they do. Eating what is available.

D, on the other hand, will walk up to the food, desire the food, even press his nose up close, but unless given permission, will not take it. Much to his dismay, he will even watch M take and eat, but because he knows he is not supposed to, will not participate.

While talking on the phone, Brad is like his big brother...he paces. While we chatted, he left a piece of pizza...a large piece of pizza, out in the open. As we spoke, he suddenly realized he had left the room and raced back. It was too late.

There was no trace of it left.

Now both dogs will express (to an extent) shame when they have done something wrong. The question is, "is it wrong to do what comes naturally?" If your you are born with desires, and you fulfill them when others aren't present, is that wrong?

In the canine world, the answer can be argued from both positions. Many of us would prefer to have the dog whose temperament doesn't allow him to eat what he does not have permission to. Others don't want a dog at all, they are cat people.

I often find myself in this place of indecision. Do I go ahead and do what comes naturally when no one else is looking, or do I choose to do the right thing, regardless?

This is an area men will always struggle with. We were created with certain desires. When we give our lives to Christ, we put to death this nature and the Lord fills us with His.

The issue is a battle that rages within. Living for Christ and doing the right thing, or giving in to what we'd like to do in the moment, reason that it won't hurt anyone, and go ahead with it.

Just like the dog, the action has consequences. The dog may ingest something that his system cannot handle, and he pays the price. Similarly, the aftermath of poor choices brings about unanticipated results that are harmful. Often, more than the individual pays the price.

Dogs can be trained not to proceed when tempted. So can we. Only, we have to want to stop, and we have to be willing to allow the Lord to keep working in our lives. When we give in to unhealthy desires, we fail Him.

Colossians 3:3 says, "For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God."

Too often we act more like, "you never died and your sin is hidden from the world...for a moment."

Both dogs have the same desire. One is full and may pay the price. The other may be hungry, but knows he has done his masters will.

Which will you be, today?



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