Pr. 12:10 stood out to me today, for the very first time. “A righteous man regards the life of his animal, but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.”
I became addicted to reruns of the show Hoarders for a bit. There were several shows about people who call themselves ‘animal-lovers.’ There was a man with over 30 cats that he “couldn’t live without.” The cats were his world, and his only friends. He loved them more than himself.
The sad truth was that animal rescue found 8 dead cats in his house, and had to euthanize about 5 of the 32 live cats he had. The rest of the live cats were in serious crisis regarding their health and required a lot of care and medication to be brought to good health. Many were dehydrated and malnourished. Many were blind or had serious eye infections.
This man’s “tender mercies” were actually very cruel. He truly thought he was regarding their lives, showing them the love they needed, and was giving them all that they required for a healthy life. He truly believed that by giving them the run of his home, they were in better care than if they were anywhere else. He sat out food and water daily and his entire house could be used as a litter box. All that freedom would surely lead to a fulfilling and healthy life for them.
What a righteous man knows is that to truly regard the life of your animal, you must get them vaccinated, bathe them, check them for parasites, fleas, and disease. You must ensure that your animal eats daily and drinks the water they need. You must ensure that your animal has a clean and healthy environment in which to live. That is how you truly care for an animal.
Vaccinations hurt. Boundaries can seem unreasonable during certain seasons of emotion. Clean water requires the effort of cleaning the bowl and getting the new water. Bug checks are intentional moments where you examine the entire surface of the animal. Eye exams require a doctor’s expertise. All these things require intentionality and they are not all fun, but they are necessary for health.
The same goes for us. Rebukes hurt. Boundaries can seem boring, unfair, or unreasonable at times, depending on where our eyes are focused. Drinking from Living Water requires the effort of cleansing ourselves of impurities and getting into the Word and prayer. Sin checks are intentional moments where we allow God to examine us, test us, and try us, so that He may help us get rid of any impurity that is trying to infect us and keep us from Him. Eye exams keep us looking to God to prevent the blindness of sin to take over, or the lies of satan and this world from blurring God’s truth.
Things that require effort in our walk with The Lord aren’t cruel at all; they actually give us a fulfilling life until we go home to heaven. We can live a life free of blindness, dehydration, and malnutrition if we keep our eyes on the things above, drink from The Living Water, and eat of The Bread of Life. God has called us to live a life of abundance and freedom in Him. He truly regards the lives of his children.
Thankful for a righteous caretaker,