JD’s Lesson

Respecting Gifts
Rich and I have two dogs. JD, the black labrador retriever, is nearly three years old. Doc, the poodle-terrier mix, is roughly five. (He came to us from a shelter as an adult dog, so we’re not exactly sure). We’ve learned a lot from our canine buddies, but I think JD has taught me the most important lesson–at least, so far.

JD is playful. For awhile he enjoyed amusing himself in the mornings, after Rich had left for work, by snatching up some forbidden item, such as a shoe or the remote control to the television, and parading back and forth in front of me. I would jump up to chase him. Sometimes we did several laps around the dining room table before I could “corner” him to regain possession of the contraband in his mouth. He was having a blast; I felt foolish.

One day, it dawned on me: He’s a labrador retriever. So instead of giving chase when he appeared in the doorway with my sandal in his mouth, I remained in my chair. “Good boy,” I told him. “Bring it here!” He brought me the sandal and stood waiting to be praised.

Once I began looking at the situation in terms of his skills, the problem evaporated.

My relationships with people are better now that I’ve understood this lesson. I honor my friends and family members when I consider their gifts before engaging them.

4 There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all. 5 There are different kinds of service, but we serve the same Lord. 6 God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us.

7 A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other. 8 To one person the Spirit gives the ability to give wise advice; to another the same Spirit gives a message of special knowledge.9 The same Spirit gives great faith to another, and to someone else the one Spirit gives the gift of healing. 10 He gives one person the power to perform miracles, and another the ability to prophesy. He gives someone else the ability to discern whether a message is from the Spirit of God or from another spirit. Still another person is given the ability to speak in unknown languages, while another is given the ability to interpret what is being said.

11 It is the one and only Spirit who distributes all these gifts. He alone decides which gift each person should have.
I Corinthians 12:4-11 (NLT)


  1. We currently enjoy the company of Trevor, our granddog, who is a long-term guest in our home.