Today we have a house guest, a little white dog named Mikey. Mikey will be with us for a few days while his mommy Amanda is out of town. Mikey is not a dachshund like our other dogs, I know because he his legs are not short and he does not bark just because he hears the grass grow. Those are the distinguishing marks of dachshunds. But Mikey is like a dachshund in that he wants to be in somebody’s lap….all the time. I do not remember this being a part of the deal. But that is okay, Mikey is a pretty good dog. He goes to the door when he needs to be let out and when he comes back in he wants to get right back in someone’s lap. Our dogs use a doggie door. Mikey is a little unsure about the safety issues involved with the doggie door I guess as he has not used it yet. I tried to encourage him to walk through that door but he is not ready yet.
Some people might suggest cramming him through the door but I do not recommend that technique. It is not as effective as you would think. The dogs don’t like it and 3 out of 5 times you get bit. Just trust me on those numbers. I know that once Mikey sees the other dogs going through that doggie door he will probably see the benefits and eventually go through on his own. I have seen it before with other dogs that have come to our house. They had never seen a doggie door but after a while they learned from observing our dogs and pretty soon they used it too.
I think it can be that way with things of faith sometimes. As Christians we know that the relationship we have with the Lord is good – real good. We know it works and we know that it would be beneficial for others and we can’t wait to introduce them to Him. Sometimes we share with them in an excited way and they look at us the same way Mikey looked at that doggie door. “Sorry, not for me.” Sometimes in our enthusiasm we try coaxing them through the door with treats and promises. Some people even try to manipulate and cram them through the door thinking that “If they just take a few steps, if they just try it then they’ll see.” Manipulation, coercion, and enticements even when given with the best intentions are not the way that the Lord desires for people to enter into the Kingdom of heaven. Over and over again in the New Testament Paul urged the Church to imitate him as he imitated Christ. Live for Him, proclaim Him and let people make up their own minds when they are ready. Jesus said in like this in Matthew 5:16
Matt 5:16 “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”
If we do the things that we are called to do in the way that we are called to do them, our lives will serve as a living testimony! We will be faithful witnesses! There will be no manipulation, no coercion and no sly or empty promises. People will see the difference that the Lord is making in us and through us. And because of the differences they see some will walk through the door to the Kingdom of God on their own accord at the calling and conviction of the Holy Spirit. To God be the glory forever and ever amen! Until next time, stay strong in the faith.