Each night before I go to bed, a part of my evening ritual is to check to see if our dog needs her water bowl topped up. Though routine and mundane in nature, it is a spiritual experience for me because when watering our canine I often think of how blessed I am to live in a country, and a house, where a lowly dog drinks good old H2O that is clear, clean, and disease free. I know that it is not so for many humans in this world.
North American pets, having it so well, have inspired me and my family to sponsor a hungry and underprivileged child through the child sponsorship ministry called Compassion (see the banner of the top of this page). Sponsored children receive nourishment, education, and hope for the future through Jesus. Our participation in this is a question of priorities and trying to hold important in life what God holds important in this life.
The Bible says a bit about the care of animals. My favorite verse on that topic is Proverbs 12:10, ?A righteous man cares for the needs of his animal, but the kindest acts of the wicked are cruel.? However, as much as I like that Scripture verse, the key teaching text for where the energies of believers should be focused in charity is James 1:27, 'religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.? From how I look at it, if one becomes more concerned with the well being of animals than the needs of hungry children, they have become polluted by the world.
The Christian life is not an ?animal-centric? life. Jesus was not born in Bethlehem to live and die and put an end to animal sacrifices because they weren't humane. No, Jesus lived and died to save us humans from our sin-caused separation from God. Having been reconciled to God, our passion should be becoming personal purity and the care of other human beings.
I am reminded of this when I see that my dog has fresh water.
Pastor Tim has retired from pastoring local churches and is now working alongside his wife to help refugees and persecuted Christians.