12th September 2017

One Dog, One Sausage!

“Therefore, I remind you to rekindle the gift of God that is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but one of power, love and sound judgment.”
2 Timothy 1:6-7 (CSB)

Have you ever been to a village fete? If so, you will know that as well as a few stalls selling bric-a-brac, cakes, drinks and second-hand books, they often have a few games and competitions. One of my favourites is where pet dogs sit on one side of a space with a sausage on the other side, perhaps ten or twenty yards away. The dog that gets to – and eats – the sausage first is the winner. I am proud to say one of my dogs is usually first or second in this competition. However, all the dogs race over and eat their sausage pretty fast, so even the losing animals get a treat.

It is fair to say that most dogs like sausages and gobble them down as fast as they can. But that led me to think about our behaviour as humans and especially as Christians. We live in a world where we are bombarded from all sides with real news, fake news, deliberately misleading information, materialism, humanism, pleasure-seeking, false religion and anti-Christian propaganda. How quickly do we absorb it all? Too often, perhaps, as fast as a dog eating a sausage? No real thought or discernment, no evaluation of it against biblical values, just swallowing it whole.

Our society and culture is very different today to what it was fifty or sixty years ago. What we see, hear and read is too often the promotion of values that would have been thought extreme and unrealistic less than a lifetime ago. Yet God’s truth and values are exactly the same now as then. So, we need to be thinking Christians—careful about what we absorb consciously or, more important, unconsciously.

Exodus 23.2 says, “You must not follow a crowd in wrongdoing.” We live in a world where it’s sometimes easier to drift along with the crowd rather than stand up for what we believe and hold fast to God’s values in our lives. As our heading scripture tells us we are given, not only power and love, but also sound judgment. It has never been more important to develop and use it.

Prayer
Loving Father, let us not be swept along on a tide of wrong values, but give us the wisdom and sound judgment we need to follow and live by your values as ambassadors and lights in this world. In Jesus name we pray.
Amen

Study by Keith Hartrick

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About the Author:
Keith Hartrick is an Elder in Grace Communion Church – Leeds, and serves on the Church Council there.

Local Congregation:
Grace Communion – Leeds
Garden Village Welfare Association
Community Centre
Pendas Way
LEEDS LS15 8LE

Meeting Time:
Saturday 2PM

Local Congregational Contact:
Malcolm Arnold
Phone: 01484-312347
Email: malcolm701@googlemail.com

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