We can learn a lot from a cat. We recently bought a puppy, a yellow Labrador we named Hero. As is often the case with puppies, he is a chewer—nothing is safe from his razor-like teeth—except for Misty, our cat. Every time Hero tries to chew on Misty he takes one-two combinations to the head from a not-amused feline.
Most vets and dog owners say “never hit a dog.” But our “no bite” admonitions, and inconsistent techniques in disciplining Hero have little effect on him. He thinks biting is all part of a game. As our cat bemusedly watches us, she is free of his assaults. He knows that anytime he invades her space he is sure to get swatted. So he follows her around, wags his tail affectionately and acts responsibly.
2 Samuel 13:21—When King David heard about these things, he was furious.
King David was a godly man. He was also royally inconsistent. After his son Amnon raped his half-sister Tamar, the Bible says David was furious. But he took no action. Because he failed to punish his son, Tamar’s brother, Absolom, avenged his sister and murdered Amnon. David wept bitterly but again took no action. Absalom, having little respect for his father, led a revolt to take his dad’s throne. In the end, David lost another son. When a father is inconsistent in the application of discipline the family cannot help but suffer.
When it is philosophically inconvenient, the rage today in the face of improper behavior is to be non-judgmental. If you want proof read the “Letter to the Editor” section of newspapers or peruse the blogs on the aftermath of scandals. “Don’t swat the little puppy he’s just acting like puppies act!” A furious application of nothing is a fatal invitation for anarchy. An inconsistent application of something leads to a confused dog. Wouldn’t it be nice if Scripture said, “When King David heard about these things, he punished Amnon.” Who but God knows how the story might have changed.
Inconsistency is the only thing in which men are consistent.—Horace Smith
©2009 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)