Learning to Share…or Not

sharingI’ve never been able to teach our dogs to be patient, or altruistic when it comes to food. We feed them enough because several of them are having some mild weight problems. We did feed them out of one bowl, but we notice some were getting skinny (namely the two males) while the rest were gaining weight. So we got them all food bowls and if we watch and re-enforce the rules, they will each eat out of their own bowls. If not, then it’s just a free for all.

Now our dogs are really all that selfish when it comes to many things. They eagerly exercise their roles as protectors and all I need to say is one emphatic “No!” when they are looking at some of my food I don’t want them to touch, and they will understand and leave it completely alone. But they have no respect for food that should obviously be another dog’s meal.

It reminds me of how Jesus had to admonish the Pharisees when they rationalize their selfishness in taking care of their parents, by claiming all the resources they (the Pharisee) enjoyed had been dedicated to God, therefore was only theirs to enjoy, not to give away. It was a convenient way to avoid any obligation that might cost them some comfort. I don’t think the dogs have any bad motives other than simple selfishness, and they surely don’t rationalize it, but as humans, we do.

One of the traps any religious person can fall to (I see this in every religion, not just Christianity) is sin swapping. I over-obey this law so I can completely ignore that law. When Paul tried this in 1st Samuel 15, Samuel rebuked him and said, “Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.” And selfishness is the very easiest sin to rationalize. it is the opposite of sacrifice, so it’s easy for use to pretend that some sort of symbolic sacrifice can excuse real selfishness.


“But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.”—James 3:14