Years ago we were training puppies, Ruger and then Annie and Duchess. I always walk around our house barefoot and that can be a recipe for disaster. I get up in the morning before my wife. One particular morning, being the frugal and considerate person that I am, I was walking around the house in the dark. You can guess the rest of that story. It is difficult for someone to sleep when their spouse bounces into the room, hopping on one foot, mumbling and groaning. The lights came on and everyone is awake. Those are the rules. With tails wagging, the puppies came over to greet me, oblivious to any mistake they had made on the floor, unmoved by my disgust. I’d like to say this never happened again but our puppies are easier to train that I am.
Jim (not his real name) was a new Christian in high school. He carried his Bible everywhere he went, eager to tell others of his new life. Eventually, Jim met a strange, young girl. He determined that she was demon possessed. Her psychiatrist thought differently. Armed with a handful of scriptures, and filled with the Holy Ghost, Jim wielded his spiritual powers over the devil and made quite a mess of things. Jim believed the mess was everyone else’s fault because he knew he was “right with the Lord.”
Someone has to clean up the puppy’s mess when it occurs. People who live in the house must teach the puppies that it is unacceptable to poop on the floor because they simply don’t know. If you own the puppy, you train it and clean up the mess. If you don’t own the puppy, you shake your head and walk away, leaving the mess for someone else to clean up. No one owned Jim. No one wanted to touch the mess that he made.
Young Christians can make quite a mess if they are not mentored in a loving manner, and all young Christians need to be mentored. Like puppies, young Christians are cute and annoying at the same time. In their moments of unbridled spontaneity, they leave behind stinky little remnants. Left untrained, these people grow up, repeating the same mistakes, never reaching respectable maturity. We all know at least one person like this. Few people accept the responsibility of mentoring them. They would rather adopt a puppy. In fact, most people would rather adopt a whole litter of puppies than mentor one young Christian.
It would be nice if I could sit back and say it’s my wife’s job to train the puppies, but everyone who lives in the house is responsible. The same holds true for new Christians. It’s the church’s responsibility to teach and train new Christians. You can’t sit back and blame the pastor or the youngster. That will not help them or those touched by their lives.
In our zeal to increase the Kingdom, let us not forget that God expects us to finish the job. Don’t bring youngsters home if you aren’t going to take care of them. God doesn’t want the reputation of owning a million untrained pups. If you want to live in His house, accept some responsibility and help keep it clean and orderly. Adopt a youngster today. If they make a mess, getcha a little scooper, clean it up and teach them what is right. Oh, and don’t walk barefoot in the dark.
Read the second chapter of Titus. http://bit.ly/1VdCM7A
Sometime we’ll talk about how to deal with old dogs who poop on the floor.
You figured there would be a twist, didn’t you? 🙂