I have a beautiful 16 week old puppy named Cooper. Here’s his picture. I give you full permission to make whatever ohhh and awe signs that you feel are necessary. He is quite the cutie pie.
As you could imagine, I love this little guy and spoil him rotten as I would imagine most loving dog-owners do. He gets the best food, lots of fun toys, and an ample amount of quality time with Daddy. He’s my little man and, in my house, he is richly provided for.
About a month ago, Cooper developed a serious case of food aggression. If you’re not familiar with that, what essentially happens is the dog stops seeing his owner as a benevolent provider and instead sees him as a threat; a thief looking to deprive him of his most valuable asset – food. For him, the situation becomes life or death.
In a matter of seconds, the lovable little tyke you saw above would become the adorable disaster you see below:
(Sorry for the blur. Yes that’s my leg.)
I couldn’t help but think about how ridiculous his reaction was…
- Who gave him a place to live? I did.
- Who made sure he was healthy? I did.
- Who protected him? I did.
- Who played with him? I did.
- Who filled his food bowl? I did.
Still, the moment I set that food bowl down I ceased to be his friend and immediately became his foe. In one moment, he saw me as the giver of life. In the next, he saw me as the taker of life. What motivated this disastrous transformation?
Far be it from me to liken any of our experiences to that of a dog, but I do hope you’ll see the illustration. Cooper’s fear overtook him so much so that he was willing to fight for his life against his own provider, literally biting the hand that fed him.
When we forget who our Provider is and act out of fear, we engage in the same kind of craziness…
- When we fear for our jobs, we start compromising our morals – fudging numbers, puffing up our performance, and positioning ourselves ahead of the guy next to us. If you’ve worked in an office or for more than 15 minutes, you know what I mean.
- When we fear for our lives, we immediately dismiss the value of anyone else’s life around us and start scrapping for our survival. Ask the witnesses of that tragic night club fire in Rhode Island back in 2003. They’ll confirm that one.
- When we fear for our souls, we turn to man-made religion, self-righteousness, and performance to make us feel holy instead of turning to a battle already won and an identity already secured.
A Big Ol’ Bite
While my puppy sinned against me by going all Kujo on me every time I got near his bowl, we sin against God by looking Him in the face and telling Him that we don’t trust Him. Whether its in our jobs, our lives, or our eternity, He’s got it figured out. We don’t need to be afraid.
- Who gives us a place to live? God does.
- Who gives us our health? God does.
- Who protects us? God does.
- Who gives us blessing and enjoyment? God does.
- Who fills our food bowl? God does.
When God doesn’t show up the way we think that He should, don’t growl at Him and take a chunk out of His leg. We don’t have to be afraid. He won’t deprive us of what we need in order to survive. He knows what He’s doing.
What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done out of fear?