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Consideration for others

It happened over and over. Every few days as I walked or jogged my favorite hilly trail just outside of town, two golden retrievers attacked me.

I know what you’re thinking. Golden retrievers don’t attack. They are not pit bulls; they’re lovers — big mild-mannered teddy bears that are devoted to people.

True. I admit that these dogs weren’t vicious. Instead, they attacked with all-out happiness, bounding at me in unabated excitement. When they reached me, they would playfully nip at my heels, jump up on me (usually with muddy paws that had just emerged from the creek) and slobber all over my legs.

I love animals, but I cringed whenever I saw this pair rounding the corner, especially when I was running for time. But the dogs were not at fault.

Dogs are supposed to be leashed on the trail. These seldom were. And when they saw me ahead on the trail, the same thing always happened: The owners fruitlessly yelled at the dogs, calling for them to come back. Meanwhile, the dogs were charging full speed in my direction. (I think golden retrievers are deaf.)

There used to be a saying for kids who misbehaved: “Some people’s kids.” This should usually be “Some kids’ parents” … based on a lack of parental attentiveness.

The two golden retrievers were great dogs; they just needed a firm, responsible hand.

We seem to be in a day when consideration for others is at an all-time low. People don’t say “thank you” and “please” like they once did, and they are often thoughtless when it comes to how others are affected by their actions. Christians should certainly be an exception.

Whether it’s dogs on a trail, children in a supermarket, or one’s own actions wherever there are other people, believers need to do more than make a token show of consideration for others. If we care about people’s souls, then let’s also treat them with courtesy and respect, “in honor preferring one another”
(Romans 12:10).

Ken Horn

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