“But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.” –James 3:17
One day my son was standing holding Lexi’s leash while she sniffed in the grass. Another dog and its owner came walking down the other side of the street. Lexi smelled them and let out a bark. The woman said to her dog, “Who’s that barking? Let’s find out,” and they came towards us. Of course Lexi began pulling my son in their direction while I simultaneously called her to me. I said to the woman, “We don’t let Lexi greet other dogs. She can be aggressive.” But the woman and her dog kept on coming, and Lexi kept on pulling. My sixty-pound son couldn’t hold her back. So Lexi got to say hello. Meanwhile, the woman—who I knew to be a professional pet sitter who lived in the neighborhood—had some advice for us: “Your dog’s aggressive, is she? Well, I have two suggestions for you. First, put her in a harness.” I replied that Lexi was wearing a harness. The woman was so surprised by this that she never got around to sharing her second piece of advice. My advice to her (although I didn’t say it aloud) was, “Ask before you approach another dog.” This is common courtesy among dog-walkers. We should be considerate of other faith-walkers as well, as James 3:17 says. Sometimes people don’t want our unsolicited advice. We don’t have to show off our knowledge. Sometimes people don’t want to be accosted. We shouldn’t put our own desires before someone else’s. Now I try to avoid that woman when I walk Lexi; may we be the kind of person that others seek out as we walk with God.
Dear God, Teach me to be considerate and courteous as I walk in faith. Amen