So before you do any thing stupid and sinful, whether you are on billionaire lists and possibly heading to prison; or merely an aspiring businessman on the way to new millions, hold on, and read on.
I’m going to call you “dawg,” not like in “slum dog,” a phrase which evoked the objections of slum-dwellers in Mumbai, but dawg. Urbandictionary.com allows any close human friend to be called dawg.
So I speak as a friend to friend, dawg to dawg, a former stray who got adopted addressing human dawgs without a spiritual home. Let me tell you where I think you went astray, and see if you agree with me.
You strayed in your heart away from home. Straying begins in the heart for from your heart flows all life’s issues, views, and practices.
1. Did you set your heart on wrong objects as ultimately worthy?
2. Did you compromise your own principles of character and integrity?
3. Did you misrepresent your deals and make them sound easier and better than
they really were?
4. Did you refuse to look at the weak links, the fatal weaknesses in your business
5. Did you maintain a confident and isolated facade, a face of confidence when you
knew your deal was dying?
6. Did you take ownership of that which you were merely entrusted, flout good
processes and due diligence?
7. Did you hide information that was material to others’ welfare?
8. Did you speculate assuming you could control the future, and speculate with
what is not your own?
9. Did you get lazy morally, organizationally, and financially?
10. Did you get greedy, even unknowingly so, and the economic crisis has
highlighted our own heart of greed?
Etc. (You can add more self-probing comments to this list.)
Well then, you qualify for the “stray dawg” epithet.
You were desirable to the public as any street-running, stray-dog. You actually were a leader among stray dogs. You led others away from the right path. They shouldn’t have followed you, but they did. That’s the mentality of animal packs. You strayed, and led them. Your family, colleagues, employees, and investors followed you. Now, every one has gone astray, we have all turned every one to our own ways.
In some places, they throw stray dogs into pounds, neuter them, even get rid of them.
Now that you are caught, and before you are permanently neutered, I’ve got good news waiting on the other side of this present reality.
1. The essence of straying is the desire to live by your own definition of life and the pursuit of your own interpretation of reality. In other words, you have strayed into usurping God’s role in and for your life.
2. Since you’ve offended God, the penalty for your transgression is both immediate and ultimate.
a. Shocked, numb, and bewildered, you face social ostracism. You didn’t start out wanting to defraud any one, but greed got the better of your heart, and you had to play the role. One $50b fraudster confessed to his sons, “It’s all one big lie.” And another admitted, “It was like riding a tiger, not knowing how to get off without being eaten.” Broken billionaires have recently taken their lives and are euphemistically said to be “found dead” in their homes or on railway lines. Others face the immediate penalty of prison.
b. The penalty for sin is also ultimate. All wrong-doers are consigned to an eternal dawg pound. Many feel you too must join the ranks of the eternally lost.
3. Except the rest of us are awaiting the same eternal fate. All wrongdoers, the whole pack of dawgs (you, me and all humanity), has become vulnerable to immediate and eternal penalty.
4. The only way to alleviate, and remove the penalty of heart-straying is to have Some One adequate and appropriate, i.e., God Himself, exchange our penalty with us. Otherwise, only hopelessness awaits us.
5. That substitutionary exchange has indeed happened. God took our penalty by placing it on His Son, the Lord Jesus. Jesus was exposed to and experienced the full effects, a frontal brunt, the final experience of our penalty—death.
6. If we accept God’s strategic initiative as personally applying to us, the ultimate penalty of an eternal dawg pound will no longer threaten us.
7. What about the immediate penalty that we face for having strayed? Here too, there is good news. God is willing to adopt you into a permanent relationship of eternal sonship. Even if you have been gravely wrong, and are facing the immediate hell of legal consequence, God He becomes your dawg-shelter.
I heard of a dog adoption and welfare group (“dawg”) whose motto is a “no kill shelter,” whose mission is to “provide a safe and loving environment for dogs awaiting permanent adoption.” Whether billionaire, millionaire, or only formerly so, you can be adopted in to a safe and loving, home and family environment—into God’s heart.
In the Bible’s vocabulary, “adoption” is a technical term. God adopts “strays” into his family, who carry negative psycho-spiritual baggage; exhibit pathological behavior; and are too clever for their own and other’s good. He is willing to adopt you off the street and into His family. In an ascent down and up again, the nouveau pauvre, now literally a slum-dog heading to the pound, can actually become a spiritual millionaire. The love of money which caused the heart to stray and entrapped him has now been replaced with the only on worthy of ultimate love.
Adoption is also a legal term. Just like the law recognizes adoptees as heirs, God invites you to be His inheritance, regardless of how much you have made, and lost. He is willing to confer His name, and heap family privileges on you. House-dogs may only eat the crumbs of the master’s table, but they still eat better than stray-dogs. Indeed, stray-dawgs, become God’s house-dawgs, the family and friends of the Most High One. However, the Lord Jesus welcomes you to his home, to possess all the rights of his family. You can go from being a stray-dawg to house-dawg.
Write to me if you want to be adopted by Gawd