Like many people, I am an animal lover. I have had many pets during my life—dogs, cats, birds, a turtle, even a baby raccoon for a short time. We had a cat several years ago, Lukie, who proved out the scripture James 1:14, 15. Let me tell you how she did it.
Lukie was a sealpoint Siamese. We brought her home when she was just a couple months old, lovable and feisty, and barely bigger than my hand. At the time, we also had a Terrier/Schnauzer mix dog named Dixie. These two grew up together and got along quite well. But when we added Chuck, our Labrador mix, to the family, Lukie became a bit grumpy and decided that she would be the alpha animal in the family pecking order, at least where Chuck was concerned—but that is another story.
As she grew, it became apparent that she also loved food very much. Some of that came as a result of having had her spayed, and she never passed up the opportunity to eat when it presented itself.
One night on the way home from vespers, we spotted a couple of black kittens in a tree. Someone had just dumped them at the side of the road and left them to fend for themselves. It was going to be a cold night, so we stopped and brought them home, and our family grew by two.
Booker and Little Britches (or LB as we called her) were affectionate and all kitten. This displeased Lukie a great deal until she discovered that their food could be a potential source of food for her. We had to watch very carefully because Lukie could be very sneaky in finding ways to get to their food. Interestingly, they showed no interest in hers, but Lukie wanted theirs and hers as well, even knowing that she would get in trouble if she ate their food. So this is where Lukie would put James 1:14 and 15 into practical application.
You could enter our kitchen from two sides. Booker and LB’s food was on the floor on the side of the kitchen that led to the back door. Lukie knew we were always watching and she knew the consequences if she ate their food. Still, she would nonchalantly sit at the opposite entrance to the kitchen, casually looking everywhere but at the food. Literally after about ten minutes, she would move a short distance into the kitchen, closer to the food, again, gazing around as if she had no particular purpose in mind, though occasionally snatching a quick glance at the food bowls. This went on for about half an hour. I’m serious. She took a half an hour looking at that food, sneaking, she believed, closer, and weighing the possibility of being able to snatch some of it without getting caught. She would sneak closer and closer until she was sitting directly in front of the food. She would sit there for some time, just looking at it, and then, you could see her make the decision: “I’m here, I might as well help myself.”
By continually eyeing that food, continually moving closer and closer, Lukie tempted herself and was drawn by her desire for the food until she made the decision to do the very thing she knew was wrong in spite of the consequences. This was very evident when I stepped to the other side of the kitchen and said, “Hey Lukie, what ya doin’?” She responded in a splayed, four-legged attempt to get away on a linoleum floor as quickly as possible.
Another scripture that can be combined with these texts in James is Romans 13:14, which says, “But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh [sin], to fulfill its lusts.” [Emphasis supplied.] Lukie made provision for sin. Let’s not be like her. When we are drawn to do things that we know are wrong, let’s put on Christ, resist the pull of our human nature and the enticements of the devil, and do what is right instead.
“For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” Galatians 6:8, 9