And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God. Philippians 1:9-11 (NIV)
I have been worried about our puppy, Lucy. She hasn’t been eating much and is losing weight. We thought maybe she was just too active to stay still and eat. She takes a bite and runs off to play. I took her to the vet and he asked what food we were feeding her. The breeder gave us some of the food she was using and so, we had been mixing it with the kind we prefer. We had never heard of her brand, but we use a very high quality food that must be purchased in a pet store. Many years ago, we had a Doberman with skin problems and found that brand to be the best for his coat. Ever since, we have used it for our Dobies. The vet said that the food the breeder provided was not a kind that he would recommend, and Lucy’s thin frame might be a result of it. He suggested taking her off the mix of brands and only giving her our food. But, he noted, if she did not eat, it might be because she did not like it. He suggested a third brand to try. Sure, enough, she just nibbled at the premium grade chow so we tried another kind which she likes better. We decided she must just be a picky eater and have high standards for taste. We were wrong. Today, I caught her gulping down horse manure like it was candy. Gross. I kept chasing her away, and she just came back for more. Our older Doberman, Sky, likes to eat horse manure as well. Sky thinks of the manure cart as a buffet table. She gets so excited when I pick up the manure rake and move the cart around. Yum, dinner! She may have taught Lucy to do the same. We are going to have to break Lucy of her preference because she is filling her belly up with manure and has no room left for the good food that will help her grow and be healthy. It reminded me that sometimes, I fill my mind and heart with manure instead of the good things that God wants me to learn and dwell on. The books I choose, television I watch or conversations I listen to are not always healthy. Like my dogs’ preference for manure, they may taste good going down, but they clutter up my mind with filth. Sometimes, what I focus on causes me to sin or saddens my spirit. It can lead to an unclean tongue or unwholesome thoughts. Instead, I must remember that everything that goes in my ears and before my eyes should edify me, build me up and help me be the Christian that I am called to be. Every moment, I must make a choice as manure is everywhere I look. For my spiritual health, I need nourishment that only comes from God. What are you filling your heart with? Manure or the fruit of righteousness?