Lessons I've Learned From My Dog
A dog requires constant training. Training Bear to do something once is not enough. He must be constantly reminded and lessons need continuous reinforcement.
He will obey the commands we have taught him as long as we are consistent. He will get a toy, sit, stay, etc. when we give him the command. If we slack off he quickly reverts to his "untrained" ways.
I have noticed that people (or is it just me?) are much the same way when it comes to serving God. If we stay focused on His word, remain faithful in our service, are sincere in our worship then our lives are much better. We find ourselves less likely to drift into our "untrained" ways when we become inconsistent in these things.
Another lesson I have learned is that some things that seem like great ideas to my dog are repulsive to me! Yesterday my dog was in the back yard. I looked out the window and saw him rolling around on his back. We immediately called him into the house. The repugnant odor arrived before he did. He had rolled in some other animal's poop. His fur was matted down and he stunk! The look on his face was pure pleasure. He thought rolling in poop was a great idea!
When we sin we must remember that God is repulsed by what we have done. We have spiritually "rolled in poop" and He is NOT pleased. We must not allow ourselves to believe what we have done was a great idea. God is highly displeased!
There is one last lesson I have learned from Bear that I would like to share. He really does want to please us as his masters. You can see in his face and in his body language when he realizes he has done wrong. You can equally see when he knows he has pleased us. It seems to bring him joy when we are happy with him. He has a strong desire to hear words of praise and get rewarded with petting and head scratching!
We ought to feel remorse when we have done wrong. We should feel the guilt and pain of sin! We should also desire to please our Master in all that we do. However, more than a scratch on the head and words of praise we ought to desire to hear Him say, "Well done good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of your Lord!"