That Dog Bites.

Watch our for those dogs, those men who do evil, those mutilator of the flesh. Philippians 3:2

Years ago, I found myself in a tricky relationship. One where I never knew when or if what I’d said would be taken wrong, misconstrued, received as grossly offensive or insulting.

Like when I said ‘good’ but he heard ‘bad’? And was offended.

Every time.

If the rules of engagement are subject to change, how in the world can a degree of safety be established?

It might not. Especially if that dog bites.

In response to the difficulty of interacting with this person, a wise woman layered truth over the situation.

“Yep. That dog bites.”

And if the darn dog bit me once, chances are he’ll bite me again. 

This dog-bite wisdom -and scripture- got me thinking. The Bible doesn’t hold dogs in high regard. They were not enjoyed as domestic pets but ran wild in packs in search of food and were equated to a band of evil men.

Dogs have surrounded me,

a band of evil men has encircled me;

they have pierced my hands and my feet.

Psalm 22:16

“Dogs” referenced the unholy, foolish, or unrepentant sinners. They ate food that fell from the master’s table.  At the very least, they were dirty and unpleasant.

Revelation 22:14-15 says dogs will be kept outside the city gates with no right to enter and access the tree of life. 

Watch out for those dogs, those men who do evil. Philippians 3:2a

That is not to say a person easily offended is likened to a unrepentant sinner – an unfair assessment – but that the potential for biting exists and the wise person will heed the warning.

For fear of being bitten, I exercise healthy boundaries and don’t readily extend a hand to the biting type. Truth is, I’ve sunk my canines into others a time or two in my day. Forgiveness rights that wrong

Dogs that bite relationally should be treated with kindness and dignity. You just won’t find me petting him or taking him into the home of my heart. Because without erecting a chain link fence between us, a provocative snarl could lure me into a quarrel and dim my vision within the dark alley of pride. If cornered there, I risk being mauled. Worse, I might dishonor God with counter-attacks.

 

So, sorry, Fido. Spot, or whoever. Adorable as you might appear, I’m not willing to risk another bite.

Chime in here…

You know any dogs that bite? Have you ever ‘bitten’ another or been ‘bitten’? Was it justified or were you blindsided by it?

4 Comments

  1. Bill Albers says:

    Your message is good and I like the picture of the dog. Keep on writing.

    • Mary Felkins says:

      I’m fond of the picture, too. Dottie is my best friend. She’s one dog who doesn’t ‘bite’ Thanks for reading.

  2. Margaret says:

    As a dog-lover, I never would have thought calling someone a dog was a particularly strong insult until my Arabic professor told us that in Arabic, calling someone “kelb”, or dog was the worst thing you could say to someone.

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