A series of commentaries by Mary T. Hoffman about: humans and animals and the cruelty inflicted upon them; prayer and grace, and the role of the Holy Spirit in our lives; and the problems that plague our lives in this corrupted world.
I think that it is the Holy Spirit that allows humans to discern the emotions and personalities of animals. Most, or many, humans want to ignore the promptings of the Holy Spirit and say that animals “act by instinct only” or “don’t have souls and spirits.”
These people, especially if they consider themselves to be Christians, are blocking the Holy Spirit. That’s why Jesus says that unless you become as children… Matt 18:2-4:
2 And He called a child to Himself and set him before them,
3 and said, "Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven.
4 “Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
Until they are programmed or socialized by adults, most children have tender feelings toward animals.
Being “born again” as a Christian should result in a return to a child-like wonder and sensitivity, an ability to see beyond the hardness of the world. Remember what 1 John 2:15-17 says about the world:
15 Do not love the world, nor the things in the world. If
anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.
17 And the world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God abides forever.
Truly being “born again” should result in ridding ourselves of the deceptions of the world and in having our eyes opened. When we have our eyes opened we see things as a child sees things: afresh, free of the half-truths and lies that the world so readily accepts and lives by. Remember the story of the emperor’s new clothes? It was the adults who were “oohing” and “aahing” about the non-existent clothes of the proud emperor. The child, his eyes yet unclouded by society’s lies, told the truth: the emperor has no clothes.
Being truly born again should result in getting rid of all the layers of hypocrisy that one’s culture imposes and then finally getting back to seeing clearly as God intends.
Most children, being naturally attracted to animals, are tenderhearted, as God intends. It is not natural to slaughter. Children would be naturally vegetarian if not twisted and manipulated by adults who themselves have been twisted and manipulated into consuming what was not God’s original food for humans: Genesis1:29:
29 Then God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit, yielding seed; it shall be food for you;
I find it interesting that after being born again as Christians, Frank and I became more aware about the plight of animals. Our sensitivity increased after our spiritual eyes were opened. Finally, we could no longer knowingly use animal products. We had “teachable spirits,” to use the Bible’s description.
When I think of all the people in this world, I am reminded of the passage in Matthew 13:30 in which Jesus tells about the wheat and the tares:
30 ‘Allow both to grow together until the harvest; and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather up the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them up; but gather the wheat into my barn.”’
II think of the sensitive people as being the wheat, and the boors who mock and jeer at them as being the tares.