Got A Sticker?

Words of LIFE - Weekly Devotional
Got A Sticker?
by James Robison

"Then I called on the name of the Lord: 'O Lord, save me!' The Lord is
gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion." (Psalm 116:4-5)

I long to see the Christian family really encourage one another. Perhaps you are dealing with a serious issue. You may feel like you can’t control it or in some way it’s controlling you. You are bound, even though you follow a Savior who said, “I will set you free from bondage.” You don’t need to be shamed because you are bound, but you need to admit it and you need some help.

I talk about lessons I have learned from pets and there is one that relates directly to this type of situation. Princess is our little dachshund and she loves to go sniffing around, checking everything out. Frequently, she’s gets a thorn or sticker. It is the saddest thing to see a little dog (who barely has legs anyway) pull one of them up so her belly drags the ground. It’s pitiful! With the kindest, most inviting voice possible I call out to her tenderly, “Got a sticker? Papaw will help you.”

In the most humble fashion, she limps over to me for help. I always remove the stickers, but sometimes they break off and leave a tiny thorn in the pad of her paw. Princess will continue to hobble around until I say, “Let Papaw look.”

She gets up in my lap, lies on her back and puts her paws up in the air. I’ll turn on a light, put on my glasses and sometimes use a magnifying glass. Gripping a pair of tweezers, I will tell her, “Papaw will get it, but it’s going to hurt when I pull it out.” When I pull it out, she licks her paw for a minute, then she’s happy again.

I was reflecting on this process when I realized some profound truths. When I can tell that she’s in pain, I lovingly invite her into my lap to take care of it. Even with people, it takes a compassionate invitation to gain their trust in order to help them. I don’t think Princess would ever come to me if I shouted, “Stupid dog. Get out of the yard. Quit sniffing around. You’re going to get what you deserve. I told you not to go there!”

That would not make her want to get in my lap. In fact, she would probably run from me! But this is what many children hear from mom and dad. “Shame on you, stupid child!” This is also what we too often hear within the family of Christ. Believers can be harsh, judgmental and unforgiving. “I can’t believe you did that. Shame on you!”

Who would want to respond to that kind of invitation?

Jesus didn’t call us dogs, but he did say that we were like sheep and sheep are not the smartest of animals! We are sheep with stickers, briars and thorns. Yet Jesus says to us, “Got a sticker? Got an issue? I’ll get it out. I’ll pour oil on the wound. Let me help.”

Paul wrote that “God's kindness leads you toward repentance.” (Romans 2:4) Would someone with a “sticker” come to you for help to get it out? What if that “sticker” is same-sex attraction, drug addiction or something equally devastating? Would you be a safe place for them to seek help? Would you welcome them into your arms and work with them to get rid of the pain, as well as the source of the pain?

We are all like sheep in that we have strayed from the shepherd’s care. There is no righteous person, not even among believers. There is only one who is perfect and that’s God, so the only goodness in us is godliness, and our only righteousness is Christ in us. God forbid we boast except in the cross.

"Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed." (James 5:16) There is power in confession not in cover-up, but in finding covering and cleansing. We need each other to find healing.

Jesus died to redeem, to set us free. We should never feel shame over a battle, because I believe we are not free from the battle, but free to fight the battle and win. Most everyone has some kind of thorn. It may be huge. Maybe you don’t want anybody to know. God wants to remove it, even though it may hurt for a short time. Repent while it is still a secret and let the Lord begin the healing process. Then turn to those around you and invite them into arms of compassion to remove their thorns and stickers so that they can find healing, too.

This Week
If you have a thorn, take it to God. Surrender to His compassionate care and allow Him to remove it and heal it. Then begin to extend His mercy to those around.

“Lord, you are my salvation. Remove the thorns from my life and give me the grace to help others.”
Do you have a spiritual lesson learned from pets or wildlife? We want to hear from you! Send them to
Words of LIFE is a free Weekly Devotional of LIFE OUTREACH INTERNATIONAL
Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin