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Dangerous pet

Occasionally when I’m flipping channels, I’ll come across one of those “When Good Pets Go Bad,” or “When Our Pets Attack Us,” type programs – and I always stop and watch. Most of the time, the stories are NOT about our cats, dogs, and goldfish lashing out at us. No, most of the stories are about people who have made the unfortunate choice to keep a wild or exotic animal as a pet…

  • Remember that loveable chimpanzee named Travis who had starred in Old Navy commercials? No? Well he is also the chimp who went on a brutal rampage in 2009 and ripped a Connecticut woman’s face off.
  • Las Vegas parents Melissa and Anthony Melendrez were arrested in 2009 on charges of felony child abuse and felony child neglect after their pet python Eve attacked their 3-year-old son. The 18-foot snake bit the boy and coiled around him, squeezing him until he was unconscious. At the moment when the mother saw what was happening, only the boy’s feet were visible.
  • Michael Peterman, a firefighter from Dayton, Ohio, loved to collect snakes and lizards. In 2003 he was bitten by his PET poisonous African rhino viper. An anti-venom arrived at the Cincinnati airport just minutes before Peterman died at a nearby hospital.

My conclusion – and it is not well researched beyond watching Animal Planet – is that if you keep an unusual animal for a pet, it is only a matter of time before it rips you or someone you love to absolute shreds!

The vast majority of us stick to the garden variety cats and dogs. And yet, there is a sense in which every one of us lives with some “thing” that can rage out of control and cause unimaginable destruction…

Our hidden sin. Or sins. Those places on the web we don’t anyone to know we visit… That “extra” drink or two that leads to an empty bottle, drunkenness and regret… That text message “flirtation” with a co-worker…

And like the owners of those exotic pets, the thrill, the novelty of the sin blinds us to potential danger… We think we have it under control. We barely notice as the claws grow, or the coils tighten ever so slightly, or eyes narrow. And then it is too late.

We cannot tame it. We cannot teach it to behave. We cannot expect things to be different “this time”… We have to be rid of it.

Trying harder won’t fix it. We can “re-dedicate” until our re-dedicator’s broken. We cannot manage this animal on our own.  We have to be rid of it.

The Good News is that we can be free, and that only happens one way and in one place – by surrendering that dangerous animal to Jesus, recognizing that on the cross he has already forgiven that sin along with every other that has been or will be committed. And going forward in his strength, not our own,

Stop making excuses, stop rationalizing, stop defending your animal. Be free. Before it is too late.

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