Betsy, our three and a half year old beagle puppy, was recently in trouble...again. Actually, three and a half dog years is about twenty five human years. At that age she is an adult, but in light of her frequent shenanigans, Betsy is still a puppy.
Her latest bout of mischief involved one of her many stuffed toy critters. The fuzzy accomplice was a cute little guy a chubby clownish-looking snowman complete with a plaid scarf, booties, and a black top hat.
Betsy must have discovered a small thread protruding from a seam on the toy's backside. Of course, that thread screamed out for attention, and was probably the cause of her investigative behavior.
Apparently at that point, the situation went from bad to worse. Soon Betsy had opened a two inch wound in the toy's rear end. When I came upon the crime scene, she was holding the toy firmly with her front paws while busily pulling on the cotton batting.
When Betsy saw me, she froze in place. She had been caught red-handed, or in her case, red-pawed with gobs of soggy evidence strewn about on the floor and hanging loosely from her mouth.
Then, Betsy looked up and seemed to ask, "What???"
Rather sternly, I asked, "Betsy! What...are...you...doing?"
She casually responded, "Oh, nothing much, dad."
I explained, "Betsy, just look at this mess. You're destroying your toy!"
With her big brown eyes looking into mine, she seemed to say, "I'm so sorry, dad. It wasn't my fault. The devil made me do it."
Well, being the good dad that I am, I stuffed the cotton back into its rightful place and sewed the seam together using a heavy cord. After all, my kids used to say, "Dad can fix anything." It was the least I could do for my four-legged fur kid.
I think dogs learn many things from watching us humans. Aren't we quick to blame others for our mistakes? After falling to temptation, how often do we say, "The devil made me do it?" It's inborn within us to avoid responsibility for our actions. It all began with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, and it continues today.
You might recall the account recorded in Genesis 3:12-13. After Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden fruit, they were questioned by God concerning their disobedience. Instead of admitting responsibility for what they had done, Adam first blamed God for providing him with a disobedient mate, and then blamed Eve. Eve blamed the serpent, and in a sense, she was blaming God as well, simply because He had made the serpent. Man has been playing the blame game ever since that day.
Satan spoke through the serpent using words of clever deception to tempt Eve and she willingly took the bait. Our often used phrase, "the devil made me do it", did not apply to Eve then, nor has it applied to mankind at anytime since then. Satan has no power to make anybody do anything, but he will try very hard.
God, in His infinite wisdom, created us with the freedom to make choices both good and bad. We can choose to resist the devil's temptations, or not.
Although this lesson is valuable for you and me, I'm not exactly sure how it would relate to Betsy's determined effort to dissect her cute little stuffed toy. Perhaps she is just a puppy...and simply "full of the devil."
During retirement, my prayer is that I might serve the Lord by sharing the Gospel through my writing. As the Lord leads, my work will inform, challenge and encourage. I also enjoy Biblical theme woodcarving, Bible studies and Christian music. Watch, pray and keep looking up!
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