One of our canine daughters, Cuddles to be exact, has a desire for … butter. Not butter flavoring and not butter on anything, she just wants a stick of butter. It must be softened so that it is the right consistency, but otherwise, she apparently is not particular about brand.

Here is a picture of Cuddles before we knew of her love of butter. Thin, svelte figure of a darling MinPin canine!

Cuddles when we brought her home.
Cuddles when we brought her home.

We discovered her penchant for the slippery treat when looking for the butter dish one evening. It had been on the dining room table, along with the salt, pepper and napkin rack. So, being humans with fairly good memory retention about the location of things, we proceeded to go to the dining room and found that we were correct. There was the butter dish, without the cover – that had been knocked off.  We often lay it on its side when we partake of the solid, delicious, edible fat better-known as butter – but the dish was clean. I’m talking dishwasher clean.

At first, we thought that we must have used all the butter and washed it, but the dishwasher still had the dirty dinner dishes in it and I recalled putting a whole stick of butter on the dish the previous day.

Then we thought that perhaps we used the stick and failed to put another in its place. That was a reasonable conclusion except for the fact that we always replace the butter with a stick from the refrigerator so that it will be soft when we want to use it.

At that point we both noticed that Cuddles was nowhere to be found. Normally, if we are even within calling distance to the table where food is consumed, Cuddles is there waiting for us to drop anything on the floor. If we are not careful, she will jump up and knock whatever we are carrying to the floor, such is her deep desire to be surrounded by food. Indeed, the dog trainer said:

“I have never seen such a food-centric dog before!”

So, her silent absence spoke volumes in people language!

Then we noticed that the place mats were shoved around a bit, and one of the chairs had not been returned to its position under the table. The evidence was in – she had jumped up onto the chair, put her little canine feet on the table, knocked off the lid and consumed virtually the entire stick of butter. In short, she ate ¼ pound of butter, and licked the plate absolutely clean.

The Butter Dish -- licked clean.
The Butter Dish — licked clean.

Hence, her name around the house has become Butter Belly (from my Beloved) or Butter Buns (from me). Several hours later, she bestowed upon my Beloved a real treat when she became violently sick while laying on his lap. The butter had its revenge and my husband was the one who paid for it!

Butter Buns must not have a good memory about the effects of solid butter on the canine system because today we went into the dining room and found the butter dish empty, again. This time, however, there had been only a couple of tablespoons of butter left on the dish, but still it was not a pleasant thought. After spanking her, and putting her out to the backyard, we are hoping the lesson that “butter is bad for doggies” has been learned.

However, in our home, Butter Buns is not the only one who yearns after that which she should not have.   As Christians, we are to put off the old man and allow the Holy Spirit to have full sway, full reign, and full control of our lives.

But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.

Colossians 3:8-10.

We know that Jesus Christ paid the price for our sin when He died on the cross at Calvary and that His resurrection sealed the fate of Satan and all his henchmen. Sin no longer has control of us and we can defeat it in our lives by living through the power of the Holy Spirit. This is what we should strive for in our Christian lives. Since the Holy Spirit is, as His name indicates, Holy, this means that sin cannot be countenanced by Him.

But, still we sin. We are human and we still have the old nature within us and there are times that we simply do not win the battle when facing temptation that is put before us … like the butter dish. Paul recognized this fight and said:

For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing.   Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.

Romans 7:18-20

Butter Buns trying to appear innocent.
Butter Buns trying to appear innocent.

I have to say that Butter Buns is a four-footed illustration of my fight with temptation and the frequency with which I fail to resist and do the right thing. I may not lick the butter dish clean, but there are many areas of my life which are just as unhealthy and just as inconsistent with having the Holy Spirit resident within me.

What about you – does Butter Buns remind you that we must yield to the Holy Spirit on a daily, moment-by-moment basis, so that He can accomplish His work to transform us into the image of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior? Let us confess the sin, repent, and be cleansed by His grace and love. Then, we can live victoriously through His Spirit.

As for Butter Buns, we are moving the butter dish to the far edge of the kitchen counter! Perhaps a locking lid butter dish …?

Father, I pray that you will make me aware of the times that I am sinning and displeasing Your Holy Spirit. I pray that I would be sensitive to sin in my own life and that I would repent and turn from those actions, thoughts and desires. I pray that I would be transformed into the image of Jesus Christ, Your Son and my Savior, for it is in His Name that I pray.


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