My daughter has two dogs, Austin, a kind of Alsatian, and Kairo, a Husky. They are together the whole day. They could have made life very nice for one another – for they only have one another for fellowship the whole day. They could for example play with one another the whole day and have a royal time, as they have nothing to care about. They get their food every day, their shelter, walks and everything they need! But alas, this is not the case!
If my daughter (the dog’s master) would take Austin for a walk, Kairo gets extremely jealous! And he cannot hide it! He starts barking and whining and runs and jumps up and down while Austin is taken for a walk. And when Austin is returned, Kairo becomes very nasty and will bite Austin and will chase him all over. And it is exactly the same when Kairo is taken for a walk. Then Austin is getting very jealous and nasty! There is to a certain extent peace between them while their master is not around, but the moment she appears, the jealousy flares up and the barking, biting, competing, and nastiness starts again!
They have no reason whatsoever to get jealous, for they get the same attention and fair share of walks. Think if Kairo could understand that when Austin is taken for a walk, that it was not Austin who decided to be invited, but it was the master’s decision. So, if he wants to blame someone, he should blame the master! But they are only dogs with a dog nature, and you can’t teach them this.
“…people are getting jealous and nasty and start “biting” one another! Not with their teeth, but with words and in their thoughts.”
But what about us humans? Is it not the same? When God takes my friend or colleague for a “walk”, and blesses and uses him for something? Why this “barking” and “biting” in our thoughts? Why not just leave the other in peace and bless him in our thoughts? Are we by nature the same as dogs? Yes, we are! And that is what we see and experience in everyday life at work, in families, in churches, in politics, sports, at school and all over! Because of this, things often become so sour and spoiled (corrupted). What could have been good and pleasant, easily gets sour. And instead of being thankful for one another and appreciating the others for what God is doing through them (because it is after all He who takes them for “a walk”), people are getting jealous and nasty and start “biting” one another! Not with their teeth, but with words and in their thoughts.
Is there a way to avoid all of this, a way to change our nature, our thoughts and our reactions? Yes! There is! God gave us great promises in II Pet.1:4 (Contemporary English Version), that His nature can become a part of our nature, if only we are prepared to be set free from our “evil desires” that are at the root of all our jealousy, “biting”, and sour, corrupted relationships. We can then think and react like God, who is never jealous, nasty or sour!
It is the lust for attention that makes Kairo and Austin to get so mad at one another, that makes that they are always in competition with one another. But, if Kairo could get rid of the desire for attention, then he can become happy and content. Then, when the master gives Austin the attention – and Kairo will just lie down quietly and never whine or jump and bite anymore!
The same with us, if we no longer have any desire to be recognised or that people should give us lots of attention, then we get true peace and rest in our thoughts!
Jesus says in Joh.8:32 (New King James Version) that “you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free”. First, I have to acknowledge the truth, that the problem is not with my friend or colleague, but that the problem lies within me, that it is my own human desires for recognition and attention that causes all the unrest and “biting” in my thought-life. If I then pray to Jesus and ask Him to help me to get rid of these desires, He starts a process in my life to set me free (Joh.8:36; Rom.8:13). As I give myself for His “treatment” to be set free from these human desires, He gives me more and more inner rest and peace and empowers me to bless my friends and colleagues.