A few months ago I wrote about Bo, our Boggle (Boston Terrier/Beagle mix). (See July 20, 2010 post) But there’s something I didn’t tell you about Bo. As Sam observed this week, Bo is a really good pet, but she’s a really bad dog.
It’s like this: Bo is always sweet around us, her family. She likes to play and fetch and curl up next to whoever is lying on the couch. She sits and shakes paws and greets us at the door with tail wags. She rarely barks and a doo-doo mistake in the house is highly unlikely. Bo has never bitten anyone and only showed me her teeth once, when I tried to take away her food. Understandable. She’s a really good pet.
But when Bo gets anywhere near another dog, she turns into a bloodthirsty maniac. The hair along her spine rises up and she begins to schnuffle (a barking/snorting thing). Bo must give off some kind of offensive aura because other dogs also turn into bloodthirsty maniacs in her presence. In our one attempt to go to the city’s dog park, we cleared it out in a matter of minutes. Nobody likes to play with Bo.
When we go out for walks, she prances right beside me and smiles up at me….until another dog approaches. Then she goes into attack mode and I can barely control the ferocious beast. Quite often, I will turn around and go the other way when I see a probable confrontation converging. Her reputation in the neighborhood isn’t good. Nobody knows she’s really a sweet thing, except those of us who live in the house with her.
Is this behavior limited to canines? Do human beings have similar issues? I mean, do people sometimes act sweet and loving in the house of God and then snarl and schnuffle at others on the street? Are there some folks who just give off bad vibes and seem to bring out the worst in others? I’m not pointing any fingers; I’m just asking: are there some really good church-goers who turn into something else outside those walls?
If anyone boasts, “I love God,” and goes right on hating his brother or sister, thinking nothing of it, he is a liar. If he won’t love the person he can see, how can he love the God he can’t see? The command we have from Christ is blunt: Loving God includes loving people. You’ve got to love both. 1 John 4:20-21 (Message)