When I realized that my family in New Jersey didn't know that we have had a poodle for a few months now (Buddy, the white haired dog- alias the love sponge) I thought I would take some pictures today of both dogs. The golden haired poodle on the right was originally named Starman, but I changed it to Pal (after the first dog I had as a young child). We acquired him Wednesday from a rescue shelter in St. Petersburg. Good thing too, as he was about to be put down. How different Pal is than Buddy; extremely quiet and shy. But you can tell that at sometime in his past he was very abused. A genuine lap-dog; he will sit on your lap for hours with you petting him. We have a lot of work to do with him, as he never was trained and has to unlearn a lot of bad habits. As you might have already guessed, we both fell in love with Pal at first sight. When I was thinking about how different these dogs were, it occurred to me that people in the church have something in common with them. When a person becomes a Christian, oftentimes they have to change their ways. And it takes time and there are problems. Consider the church at Corinth for example....
1 Corinthians, Chapter 6
1 Dare any of you, having a matter against his neighbor, go to law before the unrighteous, and not before the saints? 2 Don’t you know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters? 3 Don’t you know that we will judge angels? How much more, things that pertain to this life? 4 If then, you have to judge things pertaining to this life, do you set them to judge who are of no account in the assembly? 5 I say this to move you to shame. Isn’t there even one wise man among you who would be able to decide between his brothers? 6 But brother goes to law with brother, and that before unbelievers! 7 Therefore it is already altogether a defect in you, that you have lawsuits one with another. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be defrauded? 8 No, but you yourselves do wrong, and defraud, and that against your brothers. 9 Or don’t you know that the unrighteous will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don’t be deceived. Neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor male prostitutes, nor homosexuals, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor slanderers, nor extortionists, will inherit the Kingdom of God. 11 Such were some of you, but you were washed. But you were sanctified. But you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and in the Spirit of our God.
If you look at the list in verses nine and ten, some things seem worse to us than others- but all sin is sin. Christians are forgiven the things that they did before coming to Jesus. The past doesn't really matter. It may take awhile to iron out the problems sin has caused, but with God's help- eventually, everything will be just fine. And this applies to the dogs as well- the combination of love and time can work wonders. Please pray for Pal, as he really needs it!!!!