You’re Not a Garbage Dog Anymore!


My family recently adopted a small dog. He was an urban feral dog, born on the streets of our city, eating from garbage piles, then rescued by a grassroots group of big-hearted people. By the time he came to us, he had his first bath and preliminary vaccines. He was shy, sweet, and super cute.  

But he had no manners! He had to learn how to be a housedog. He was very eager to please and a quick learner: he learned we didn’t like it when he put his paws on the counter or jumped up to grab food from our hands. He quickly learned to enjoy a soft bed, to sleep deeply and not be in a constant state of high alert. He learned how to play with toys and walk on a leash, to truly became part of “our pack”, all the privileges of being a part of our family. 

This transformation from a life on the streets to the lap of luxury is much like the privileges awarded us as children of God. When we ask Him to be Lord of our lives, we turn away from a life of sin and are welcomed into the very household of God (Ephesians 1:5-8). In the spiritual realm, we have given up our life on the streets for a place in the palace: lavish grace and fellowship with God. 

However, it’s not always easy to keep our lives out of the gutter. Left to ourselves we often drift back to sin patterns and garbage thinking. We need to continually ask God to fill our minds with his truth so we can live a life worthy of Him and please Him in every way (Col 1:9-10).  

It’s not a “one and done” deal. We are in the process of learning how to be a child of God, to think and act like an heir. It takes time. We will mess up, take steps backward and fall down sometimes. But with practice, the daily habit of filling our mind with the Word and asking for the Holy Spirit to help us, we can live like we belong in the palace.  

Our little dog is adapting to his “life in the palace”. However, one area he still struggles with is his food. He gobbles and gulps, usually without even chewing in a desperate attempt to consume it before it’s stolen by a big dog. You see, he’s little and the big dogs bullied and battered him on the streets. 

Those old habits die hard. He is learning, slowly, slowly, that he will have nutritious food provided for him daily. He doesn’t need to scrap and grab. He’s not a “garbage dog” anymore, he’s a high-grade, grain-free salmon dog! Much in the same way, we don’t need to eat the garbage of the world, we can feast on the goodness of God and live a life worthy of being called His child. 

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