Dog Ears

Tuesday, July 2, 2019
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Proverbs 26:17 – Like one who seizes a dog by the ears is a passer-by who meddles in a quarrel not his own. (NIV)

Sometimes, the Bible makes me laugh out loud, especially with some verses from the Book of Proverbs. It's full of common-sense wisdom which, at one time, must have been based on real events. Take today's verse, for instance. Some foolish person must have been seen grabbing a stray dog by the ears and ended up becoming a victim of their own stupidity. I can imagine the barking and biting that went down as the dog fought back against its assailant. Whoever initially did this hopefully learned a hard lesson that he would not want repeated.

This also reminds me of how easily we can get caught up in social media conflicts when we cannot resist throwing in our two-cents-worth of opinionated replies to posts that we disagree with or don't like. I wish that I could say that I am able to resist the temptation, but there are some days when someone writes something that I don't accept, and before long, I get caught up in a war of words, ideas, and beliefs. Perhaps, if I changed my profile picture to a fierce-looking dog with big ears, I might be able to save myself from my own stupidity!

The Bible is a great book full of knowledge and wisdom that can be applied in so many different but still relevant ways. Maybe, if we meditated more on God's Word each day instead of checking up on the latest posts and replies on social media, we could avoid the pitfalls and conflicts that we each foolishly create. On my laptop, I have taped a reminder of this which reads: "Don't react to negative posts on Facebook; respond positively to the good ones!" In other words, don't grab a stray dog by the ears.

Q: Have I written something positive on social media today? Have I complimented someone else for doing this?

Prayer: Lord Jesus, remind us that we actually witness to You in all that we write or reply to on social media. Keep us from stirring up or stoking conflicts, and instead, help us to encourage those who add positive thoughts and worthy posts to our screens. In Your holy name, we pray. Amen.

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John Stuart <>
Knoxville, Tennessee, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Amen to that, John.

    Thank you, John, for these wise words. Blessings.

    So true, especially when it comes to politics and religion.

    Wise words John. thanks.

    Thanks, John, for such a meaningful devotion. It is good to have a laugh too.

    Thanks, John. If you post this on Facebook maybe it would speak to those who read your posts. It’s a badly needed message.

    Thanks for your encouragement, and the Daily Lectionary Readings are a good help in this. The Word is a lamp to our feet and a light for our path.

    I like this. There is so much negativity in the world. I wish we could just be kind to one another. Imagine if we were. How different our world would be.

    That is advice to b heeded by many.
    Negative people make you feel negative too.
    Don’t think our Lord wants that.
    Good for you for discussing it!

    Thank you. People need to read the Good News. It is so easy to get wrapped up in another person’s fight. I will stay focused on the path; Christ has called me to follow. And be more positive.

    Hi John,
    I appreciated your devotional today, wonderful scripture choice also.
    Thank you for writing.

    Hi John,
    Good message today! Yes, the temptation is great. Thank you for the reminder to just spread positivity and God’s love!

    Loved this! Really hits home generally for everyday choices. We don’t do social media, but we certainly need to apply this to our interactions with others. Will savor your thoughts. Thanks!
    (New Hampshire)

    Good, I will watch out for that dog with big ears. I know people who hear some of us talking at coffee hour after church who must jump in and say ‘but this is the right way’. Ok it is then I give up.

    John, what a delightfully impactful illustration. So much negative media available nowadays that we do need to pick and choose very carefully what to involve ourselves in for the day. How blessed we are to find refuge in God’s Word of truth so we can shine light in the dark places.

    Hi John,
    I enjoyed your meditation today. I think your questions should be posted on social media by everyone. There is so much negativity posted, so many lies. It really upsets me to the point I rarely go into these sites anymore.

    Hi John:
    I was thinking the same thing last night. If we all kept our noses in the Good book and other good reading material, we wouldn’t be in the pickle we’re in. Education and mediation should be our watchwords.
    Thanks for writing. I always appreciate your words of wisdom.

    Hi John,
    Hello, enjoyed your write up today.
    I removed my profile picture and posted on Facebook this morning as I have given up Facebook scrolling for the summer.
    Will respond to messenger but that is it.
    Then I read your devotional.
    Take care and God Bless.

    Thank you for today’s post. I have a different interpretation of the verse though, although I agree with yours as well. I took it to mean that by grabbing the dog by the ears, we are only grasping a small part of the dog, as in the argument witnessed by the passer by, missing all the main part but jumping in anyways. Both work for the social media bit though, people jump in when they don’t know the whole story. We are an opinionated bunch.

    Well said John – and so applicable today. It wouldn’t surprise me though if the Lord takes scripturally based negative responses as well and uses them to plant seeds of Truth in others who have disagreed with a post, but didn’t know how to respond, other than to become angry, or resentful, even spiteful. May all your responses produce fruit for God’s Kingdom; and may we all resist the temptations to berate or condemn. Amen.

    “Don’t grab a stray dog by the ears!” I love this one – going to write it down.
    Another phrase I picked up “Blind men, on the dark side of the moon, could see the problem!”
    Anyhow, keep pitching and you brought up a point often overlooked: there is plenty of humor
    in the Bible, but we don’t catch it.
    When Our Lord speaks to the Samaritan woman at the well (John Chapter 4:21), He says
    “for salvation is from the Jews” {new international version}
    Of course, His name, Yeshua, means God saves! So He was having a little bit of fun with her as He engaged her in conversation.
    God bless. You gave me a morning chuckle!

    Here is a very old prayer, from a Catholic Book of Prayer. “Take O Lord, from our hearts all jealousy, indignation. wrath and contention, and whatsoever may injure charity and lessen brotherly love. Have mercy O Lord, have mercy on those that crave Thy mercy; give grace to them that stand in need thereof; and grant that we may be worthy to enjoy Thy grace and attain to everlasting life. Amen
    Pretty well says it all.

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