The story is told of the little boy who cut off his puppy’s tail an inch at a time to keep from hurting it so badly by cutting the whole tail off at once. This sad story illustrates the tragic error that many people have with leaving the world behind them when becoming a Christian.
Following Christ is an all-or-nothing commitment. Trying to accept Christ without total commitment to Him is like cutting a puppy’s tail an inch at a time. We just cannot cut a little bit of the world out of our lives or just obey halfway. We cannot just show up to worship on Sunday morning and continue to live like the world the rest of the week.
Sometimes a person tries to give up the world like the boy cutting off his puppy’s tail an inch at a time. The result is the same—the pain is multiplied.
Cutting off the puppy’s tail an inch at a time illustrates the difficulty people sometimes have with commitment to Christ. Commitment to one thing means forsaking other things. Jesus stated, “You cannot serve both God and mammon” (Matt. 6:24).
In 1 Peter 1:16 we read that God calls us to be holy as He is holy. Holiness is described as the state of the believer brought about by his taking on the righteousness of Christ as it stands in contrast to the impure lifestyle of the world.
Are you a committed follower of Christ or a committed follower of the world? You cannot be both.
Mark T. Tonkery
Norval Park church of Christ