Holy Living Begins at Home

One spring years ago our collie was injured and had to be put to sleep. I'll admit I didn't mourn her loss as deeply as my daughter and husband did because I had grown tired of the paths she had made through our back yard.

The first night we had our new dog Casey, she barked for hours despite the sleeping pill my husband gave her. It didn't increase my love for her when a friend reported that they have a black lab and that black labs really tramp out the grass.

I began to announce, "I think we're going to have to get rid of her." But nobody listened despite my complaints.

One morning when I awoke I sensed in my spirit that I had displeased the Lord. Then I remembered Philippians 2:14: "Do all things without murmurings or disputings" and learned that "disputing" can mean to always want to have the last word. Murmuring is often translated complaining.

I knew that included being kind about Casey whether we had a grassy back yard or not. I had learned to welcome the mind of Christ, so I chose to give up my complaints. That day I began praying, "Dear Lord, give me the mind of Christ for this dog." When He saw I determined to live by His Word, He helped me grow fond of the puppy.

In The Meaning of Holiness, J. Stanley Corlett states, "A holy life is maintained moment by moment through active faith and obedience to God." God can help us want to please Him even when He asks us to do something that goes against our natural desires. Our role is to train ourselves to listen to and respond to the Holy Spirit. We will find He gives us grace to obey.

Dear Lord, help me to live with a moment by moment awareness of Your Spirit and to be quick to respond to Your voice."

"Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit" (Gal. 5:25).

"For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God" (Rom. 8:14).