Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries
"Quick to Judge"
Jun. 25, 2018
(Jesus said) "Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on My account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you."
~ Matthew 5:11-12 (ESV)
A few years ago, my daughter informed me that she and her husband were going to adopt a pit bull.
I did my best to dissuade them. I didn't like the idea of a frothing-at-the-mouth killer sleeping in my little girl's home. I was absolutely positive Millie, that was the name they gave her, was a time bomb just waiting to go off.
Here is my formal confession and apology: I was wrong.
The American Temperance Testing Society, an organization which reviews and examines thousands of purebreds, spayed and neutered mixed-breeds, told me just how wrong I was. Way back in 2011 they tested dogs for aggression, skittishness, and the ability to differentiate between threatening and non-threatening humans. Their conclusion: golden retrievers were the most tolerant breed ... followed by pit bulls.
No wonder they used to be called the "nanny dog."
I guess that's why I wasn't surprised to hear that Sasha, a nine-month-old pit bull, saved her family from a fire in Stockton, California. This she did by barking and banging on the door of their home. When her mistress opened the door, Sasha bolted past, raced into the room of the family's seven-month-old daughter, picked her up by the diaper, and carried her to safety.
That's not the behavior of a killer dog. I don't know if you have noticed that pit bulls aren't the only group who are being misjudged and maligned in 21st-century America. Another group whom I believe is being unfairly criticized are ... the Christians.
It's true, you know.
As near as I can tell from the media, we are judgmental, argumentative, backward, prejudiced, angry, pig-headed, obnoxious, stubborn, vengeful, and incredibly narrow-minded. Now I'm not going to try and whitewash all the world's believers. Even though we have been redeemed and forgiven, we are still sinners, and yes, those qualities do appear, just as bad qualities sometimes show up in pit bulls.
But the reality is those who have been redeemed by the Savior, who are thankful for His grace and love, are also transformed for the better as they try to live a life of thanksgiving and appreciation for the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus. Because we have been changed by the Holy Spirit
1. when there is a community tragedy or a global catastrophe, you can count on the Christians to be among the first to respond;
2. when there is a social injustice, the voices of believers are among the loudest to call for a correction;
3. when a neighbor is hurting, the followers of the Redeemer will be the first to inquire: "How can we be of help? All you need do is let us know."
As Scripture says, "We love because He first loved us" (1 John 4:19). It is what we do; it is who we are.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord we are sorry for those times when we fail to live as the Savior's followers. Help us do better, so others may see the power of the Redeemer's love in the hearts of His people. In Jesus' Name, we ask it. Amen.
The above devotion was inspired by a number of sources, including one written by Alexndra Klausner on June 11, 2018, for the New York Post. Those who wish to reference that article may do so at the following link, which was fully functional at the time this devotion was written: https://nypost.com/2018/06/11/pit-bull-puppy-saves-family-from-fire-carries-baby-by-diaper/?utm_source=zergnet.com&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=zergnet_2992117
See also: https://www.alternet.org/civil-liberties/pitbulls-used-be-considered-perfect-nanny-dogs-children-until-media-turned-them
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A few years ago, my daughter informed me that she and her husband were going to adopt a...