A lesson from my Miniature Dachshund
Posted 14 October 2010 - 04:47 AM
Rusty still had a goodly portion of the bag in his mouth when I spied him, and he made a mad dash to get away from me.
We’ve had many such confrontations in the short time we’ve had Rusty – with him usually victorious. But this time, like a goalie during a World Cup penalty kick, I timed my lunge perfectly and grabbed Rusty – and the remainder of the bag – before he could cause further mess.
So, why I was surprised when I found him ripping the plastic bag? Which brings me to his lesson.
Rusty wasn’t asking if I wanted my groceries in plastic or paper bags, he taught me something I already knew – that I need to keep plastic objects, as well as paper objects out of his reach. They are just too tempting for my dog and I’ve learned, “Thou shalt not tempt thou hound.”
So, now I make sure that I deposit the plastic newspaper bags out of his surprisingly long reach. And that goes for paper as well.
I was also reminded when Jesus told us in what’s been called “The Lord’s Prayer” the best way to deal with temptation in Matthew 6:13: “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”
Simply put, avoid it.
We know our areas of weakness and we need to make plans to steer clear of those areas.
Late night television has been a temptation for me. But I’m at the point in my life that I’m headed to bed earlier and earlier. The best way to beat temptation is to simply steer clear of it.
Another way to deal with temptation is to have a realistic view of our weaknesses and strengths.
Paul told the Church in 1 Corinthians 10:12: “So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall!”
And he told the Galatians: “Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself.
Spiritual pride can lead to downfall. I used to drink excessively and it would probably have destroyed my marriage and family. But it’s been more than 20 years since I had my last drink.
Do I think I’ve beaten alcohol? Not a chance. The best way for me to avoid trouble is by not having the first drink.
Paul also told the Corinthians, “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.”
We’re told in Hebrews that Jesus was like us and tempted like us. We need to ask and look for the way out.
Yes we are to flee from temptation. But we are also to fill our lives with the good stuff. Read 1 Timothy 6:6-12. I’ll quote part of it. “But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.
The reward is great, as Paul added in verse 12: “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.”
Consider that the next time someone asks you, “Plastic or paper.”
Posted 14 October 2010 - 09:26 AM
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