Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of Him who is the head, that is, Christ. Ephesians 4:15
‘Those who say “The more I see of men the better I like dogs” — those who find in animals a relief from the demands of human companionship — will be well advised to examine their real reasons.’
C.S. Lewis in The Four Loves (New York: HarperCollins, 1960) 69. Special thanks to Shawn Manley, my friend and the CFO/COO for Global Trust Partners, for alerting me to this quote.
Human companionship is a gift from God.
As I travel the world, see differences in societies, and then return home, I notice that almost everyone in the United States has a pet with whom they are closely connected and people from whom they are disconnected in relationships. Meanwhile the rest of the world tends to focus on human companionship. In most of those places, dogs don’t sit on laps; they wander the streets eating scraps.
What’s this post got to do with generosity?
That’s a fair question, but I think I have an answer. My point is not to get rid of your dog. We love our German Shorthair Pointer dog, Joy, who will likely greet me at the door when I get home tonight from Los Angeles with a stuffed animal (bird) in her mouth as a subtle hint that she wants to play or go pheasant hunting with me.
My point is to examine our relationships and the gift of human companionship rather than retreat to find relief from humans with an animal. We must not allow a dog to be our best friend. I am not saying that pets can’t give us emotional support. What I am saying (with Lewis), is to examine our relationships and to cultivate and cherish the generous gift of human companionship.
If you enjoy God’s gift of people and you have a dog, well, then consider yourself richly blessed. One of my greatest joys in life is my morning and evening walks with my wife, Jenni, and our dog, Joy, when I am home. We walk. We talk. We pray. We praise God for many blessings on the journey of life. And, we do this twice daily together with our dog.
I am in meetings today with dear brothers, Rob Foster, Rick Yohn, Chi-Chung Keung, and Travis Shelton. These are companions with whom I have traveled and ministered all over the world. What a gift to spend time with them. It requires sacrifice, but the gain far outweighs the investment. That’s how it works in God’s abundant economy.