"…for wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her." (Proverbs 8:11)
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Poop on the Sidewalk

Recently, I was walking our dog, Amazing Gracie, when we encountered a rather large mound of relatively fresh dog poop in the middle of our path. I was incensed, because I take great pains to carry with me a plastic bag, so that I may graciously and humbly pick up whatever waste Gracie decides to eliminate from her bowels during our walk. Clearly, whoever left his mound of puppy mud in the middle of the sidewalk was not as thoughtful.

When I returned home, I vented to my husband Craig about the incident, telling him that I could not believe another dog owner could be so rude as to let their dog poop right in the middle of the sidewalk.

“Maybe someone’s dog got out,” Craig said, matter of factly.

I instantly felt convicted. Here, I had worked myself into a tizzy, casting dispersions on some anonymous ne’er-do-well without once considering that the incident may have been an innocent mishap. Worse yet, some unlucky neighbor might be heartbroken and searching desperately for their lost dog.

My reaction was more than a reflection of a negative attitude, it was a demonstration of pride.

Pride because I obviously thought myself more courteous and better prepared – overall a more upstanding citizen – than the imaginary neighbor who thoughtlessly let their pup poop wherever it pleased. Pride because I felt justified in my indignation to the point that I had to share something so truly trivial with my husband (who I’m sure had more pressing issues on his mind).

Scripture tells us all sorts of things about the dangers of pride, particularly in Proverbs:

A fool’s mouth lashes out with pride, but the lips of the wise protect them. (Proverbs 14:3)

Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. (Proverbs 16:8)

Pride brings a person low, but the lowly in spirit gain honor. (Proverbs 29:23)

And, lest we forget, pride (hubris) is considered the original and the deadliest of the Seven Deadly Sins. Lucifer’s pride — his desire to be equal to God — got him cast out of heaven. No surprise, then, that the Bible reminds us that God is able to humble those who walk in pride (Isaiah 13:11 and elsewhere).

Really, Leslie? You’re going to compare Satan’s expulsion from God’s kingdom with your snippy attitude while walking the dog?

No, in the grand scheme of things, being prideful over scooping poop is not a big deal. But, it offers an opportunity for awareness. God’s Word tells us to love our neighbor as ourselves. Scripture reminds us that “…love does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-5)

God’s unfailing mercy and grace toward us defies comprehension. I’m generally a nice person, and yet I fail in ways big and small every day. I am more selfish, more thoughtless, and lazier than I care to admit. But God keeps loving me, in spite of all my shortcomings. He provides direction through His Word, and gentle correction through His Spirit.

If we are to demonstrate God’s love to others, we must always be mindful of pride. Because, everybody poops.

1 comment

1 Dasugo { 01.05.15 at 7:39 am }

Then again, your neighbor might have taken a dump in front of your house.

Or we can go with the rogue dog theory. 😉

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