Speaking the Truth in Love

The Bounding Bunny

Some years ago I heard an amusing news story about the escape of 31 Ugandan prisoners charged with illegal gun possession. Five guards were watching the men as they worked in the prison garden. When a bunny suddenly bounded out of nearby bushes, all five guards raced away in hot pursuit. All 31 inmates raced away too – in the opposite direction.

Image result for  rabits runningOn one occasion Jesus sternly rebuked the Pharisees for chasing rabbits. “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!” he said, “for you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law, justice and mercy and faith” (Matt. 23:23). It gratified these very religious people to give God a tenth of everything they possessed—even their herbs. While giving generously was a good thing, their persnickety standard drew attention away from things far more important than herbs, such as fairness, compassion, and dependence on God.

We, too, are sometimes guilty of chasing the bunny in the bushes. Perhaps we get so caught up in following our favorite TV programs that we forget to read the Bible. Or we are in such hot pursuit of material things that we neglect the emotional and spiritual needs of our children. Or we pay so much attention to what other people think that we forget to consider what pleases God.

I suspect that the Ugandan guards lost not only their prisoners but also the rabbit and their jobs. Chasing bunnies brings us loss as well. Any hot pursuit of the least important proves a disappointment, and any neglect of the most important brings God’s reproof and discipline.

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