“But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another” (Galatians 5:15)
Drover greeted Albert with open hostility. It was not important to Drover that Albert was the man’s friend. Drover had his own rating system for evaluating the worthiness of his master’s guests, and Albert had failed the test. Before the man or his friend could guess Drover’s intention, Drover slipped up behind Albert and snapped at his leg, ripping his pant leg and grazing his skin.
The man was horrified by his dog’s breach of etiquette and apologized profusely to his friend. But the nefarious deed had been done, and it could not be undone. Though Albert was gracious, the fact remained that his clothing was torn and his skin scratched. The man harshly scolded Drover, who retreated to a safe distance, keeping a wary, impenitent eye on his foe.
After Albert left, the man considered the lessons he might learn from the wayward dog. Dogs, he realized, are not the only creatures who employ arbitrary rating systems. Humans are perhaps even more guilty—hastily evaluating others, flunking them, writing them off, and not giving them a chance to prove their worth. While we would never destroy a pant leg, much less the skin beneath it, who of us has not been guilty of a sneaking attack from behind? This often takes the form of gossip or slander, an offense which Drover would never commit.
If we find that we have failed in these areas, let us humbly repent. Perhaps the one we have wronged will be gracious and forgiving. Let us make a practice of thinking kind, generous thoughts about everyone.
Let us do the kindly deed,
Let us speak the loving word;
They will spring like precious seed
In the garden of the Lord.
*Dentulous means “having or bearing teeth.” (Webster’s New Universal Unabridged Dictionary)
From Paws on My Porch, by Gary Miller
© 2015 TGS International, PO Box 355, Berlin, Ohio 44610
Used by permission