I Don’t Need You

Last week my two bird dogs escaped the back yard.  I let them out of their individuals pens as I routinely do in the evening.  But when I opened the back door an hour later, expecting excitement and plenty of dog-saliva, there wasn’t a dog to be seen.  I called  for them – nothing.  I walked around the corner of the house and sure enough, someone had left the gate open.  I walked to the front yard and called again – and again no sign of the escapees.  Now I wasn’t too worried about my nine-year old English Setter, Jake.  He knows his way around.  After previous jail-breaks, he’s found his way home.  I was worried about my daughter’s 10-month old Golden Retriever, Bailey.  She’s just a pup.  And though she has a collar with my name and phone number on it, she isn’t used to traffic and doesn’t have enough maturity to forget the new smells and pay attention to getting back.  My first thought was, “if they stay together, they’ll be just fine.”  I drove around our dark neighborhood until midnight hoping to catch a glimpse of them, but with no luck.  Finally I resorted to waiting for a phone call.  That’s when Jake showed up in the back yard; wet and muddy, hungry and thirsty.  No Bailey.  That’s what I was afraid of.  In fact, no sign of Bailey all night long.  The only hope now was that someone would call.  That call came aroudn 7:45 a.m.  “I have your dog,” the stranger announced.  Bailey was a 1.5 miles away and excited to see me as I drove up.  Everything worked out.

Unfortunately, everything doesn’t always work out for those following Christ.  And even more unfortunate, we behave just like my two bird dogs – we don’t stay together.  “I don’t need close Christian friends.  I don’t need a small group.  I can make it myself.”  And for just a minute, let’s suppose that you can.  The reality is that someone weaker or with less experience may just need you.  They may need encouragement from you.  They may need wise counsel from you.  They may just need your friendship.  That’s what Christians are about – doing things even when the beneficiary is someone besides ourselves.  “Since we are all one body in Christ, we belong to each other and each of us needs all the others” (Romans 12:5 NLT).

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