Do not be like the horse or mule

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you. Be not like a horse or a mule, without understanding, which must be curbed with bit and bridle, or it will not stay near you.
(Psalms 32:8-9)

I’m going to use this verse, but talk about dogs instead. The same principle applies. Don’t be like an animal that you have to put a leash or a bit and bridle on, otherwise they won’t do what you want them to. Animal trainers may balk at this because you can train a horses and dogs to do amazing things, but what God through David is saying here is generally true. Unless you have some kind of restraint on those animals, there is a high potential that they can run away and you will have a hard time getting them back.

Our young German Shepherd wants to play with the cats. Not sure if she wants to eat them or play with them. This is something we recognize needs a great deal of attention and further training! Without the leash, the cats are in trouble. Anna and I can even get her to sit down and be still for a moment while the cats are running by her, but the moment we attempt to move on, she lunges at the cats. Again, without the leash, and without our attempts to restrain her, she would be chasing those cats all over the yard.

So here’s the lesson God is trying to teach us. Don’t be like that! Are we the kind of people that are good when parents, spouses or church members are around, but when the leash is off, we charge after sin? God wants us to build internal restraints within us. He calls us to develop self-control (Galatians 5:23; 2 Peter 1:6). The Lord doesn’t want us to have to be yanked back to Him, He wants us to stay by His side out of love, not because we have a leash (bit/bridle) on.

Don’t be like the horse or mule. Don’t be like that German shepherd puppy who wants to chase cats.