So I had some fried chicken last night and of course the dogs watched me eat every bite. I generally pull off the soft parts, that won’t hurt them and give it to them, but when I was finished the bones were still on the plate that I sat behind me on the couch table. Frankie, as usual, climbed up and approached the plate, so I said, “No,” and he sheepishly backed off. That was all I needed. He got the message, as did the other dogs, the contents of the plate, while smelling delicious was off limits.
Later I went to refill my mug with another can of pop and had completely forgotten about the bones on the plate. When I came back all the dogs were in their normal places, watching to see if I was going to do anything entertaining, and the plate still had the bones in it. Even though they could have easily jumped up and grabbed them, they respected my wishes and left them alone. Now, had I left for a longer length of time their hunger might have overwhelmed their sense of obedience and they would have eaten the bones, but for that short bit, they remembered my wishes and obeyed me.
I was impressed. I knew that they would respect my wishes when I was nearby, but to continue to do so even when I left the room showed more self control than I believed they had.
How often do we do things we know would displease God, because we forget that He’s watching. But also how often do we take the extra step and do the right thing even if no one would ever know? It’s one thing to do the right thing so people will see it and think better of you, but doing the right thing when there’s no other reward than knowing you did the right thing, and knowing that it’s what God wants is different.
“Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.”—John 20:29