The Underdog

A young boy was so excited when he found out his dog was going to have puppies. He waited in anticipation for that day. When his dog had her puppies, he was overjoyed at the 7 little balls of fur. As they grew he knew they would have to go because his parents had said that he could only keep one of them. He painstakingly chose one then made a sign to put out by the road, “Cute Puppies For Free.” A day then a week went by and only one person came to take one of these little ones. So he decided to change tactics, the next sign read, “Four Cute Puppies and One really Ugly Puppy For FREE.”  Within two days all of the puppies had homes. Every person that came by wanted to claim the “really Ugly Puppy” for their own.

What is it about us that cheers for the “underdog?” We want to reach out and help the one that really needs it. This story reminds me of someone who reached out to me when I was unlovely. There was a time when I needed a kind word of encouragement and I found it.

All of us from time to time need encouragement and uplifting. I have tried lately to look for those that need an encouraging word, a hug, or an “I am praying for you.” It’s not hard to see if you start looking. Someone who is hurting may lash out at you with a harsh tone or an unkind word. If this happens it is hard not to take it personally, believe me, I have been there and done that. The first thing we want to do is react in the same way. There is a particular person I know that has said some rude things, and has been, on occasion, plain ugly to me. The Lord has had to do some work in my heart because, to be honest, this person’s words hurt me and I wanted to reciprocate.  He began to show me how unhappy this person is all the time. He has taught me to pray for this person, and through this I am developing a different attitude toward this individual. I am letting Jesus love this person through me. It has not been an easy thing to do, but He has shown me how to extend love and grace to this person.

In Galatians 6:2, we find,”Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” and in 6:10, “As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.” Now I am pretty sure “all” means “all”. It does not mean “all who are nice to me” or “all who uplift and encourage me.” (Anyone need steel-toed shoes, I did!) I have been praying that the Lord will continue to give me “opportunity” to be a burden carrier for others, and to be the one to seek out those who are not always lovely. 

We cannot say that helping others is free. It costs us something. It can cost us our pride. It can cost us our ability to be right. Then again, it cost Jesus so much more. He left the glory of heaven to come to a broken earth to save a people who did not deserve his grace. When I look at all of this,  caring for “all” is the least that I can do!

10 thoughts on “The Underdog

  1. Hi Amy,
    I think the Lord wanted me to read your post! It is so true that instead of harboring bitterness against the person who hurt us, we have to allow God to teach us to PRAY for that person. It’s a difficult lesson to learn, but as you have quoted in Gal. 6:2, it is what the Lord would have us to do. I hate feeling all bitter inside, and obeying the Lord by praying for others is always so freeing!

  2. Very well said, Amy. I have the same tendency to “make things better” for someone that seems unlovable to others. Sometimes, I can be of help and other times it seems there is nothing I can do to offer encouragement. But I guess that is the point…it is not me that does the loving, encouraging, uplifting. I can’t do it in my strength, it would only be self-serving.
    It is hard when someone has hurt you…I’ve walked down that path too many times! All I can say from experience is that we move forward by the guidance of God’s hand and trust in that guidance to show us the next step of the journey. I’m sure you have experienced this as well!
    Thanks again for sharing your thoughts!
    God’s Blessings to you!

  3. oh yes, so true, I needed an encouraging word yesterday. My mother is sick and some of my siblings are trying to sell her things before she is ready, it is very difficult and trying to stand against all this and still try to hold everyone together. After yesterday I just picked up my bible and asked God to please give me some answers. So yes, this post is so so so true, I need encouragement right now today at this moment, cause I am not sure what to do.

  4. Amy you did an excellent job of describing me as the underdog ! Ha Ha? Just kidding I could never compare me with Jesus aven with the pain and heartache I have had ? I don’t even know if I could accept all the persecution that Jesus did for you and me, and that is why we should praise His name in everything we do ? Blessings. Ron. PS; I have been enjoying revival services very much this week.

  5. I hope you don’t mind, Amy, but I just wanted to make a comment to Dana, since I am going through a similar situation with my grandmother. She is having some major health issues and has been moved to an assisted living center (along with my grandfather) So, although their minds are intact, they have had to leave their home and belongings. This has created an interesting dynamic in our family…too many chiefs! Anyway, what to do with belongings has been an issue and it is weighing heavily on me.(because there has been too much focus on it) So, I can definitely relate to your feelings, Dana. I have come to the point of telling myself that these things are just that…things. The only value they hold is that they belonged to my grandparents and I would much rather spend my energy loving and spending time with them, than worrying what to do with their things. Now to convince others of that concept is a different challenge…but it’s not up to me to convince them. I just pray that they will allow the Holy Spirit to show them the way to approach this situation.
    I hope this has been an encouragement to you- it was intended to be!
    Christy 🙂

  6. Sarah, It is indeed a difficult lesson to learn. It is so easy to pray for who are sweet and loving. When I find myself stuggling to pray for the others, the Lord brings to my mind “Love your enemies.” It humbles me everytime. I am afraid at times I am somewhat hardheaded.:)

    Christy, I find I want to help also and I can’t always do it. I’m a “fixer”! I want to help fix all the problems. You said it correctly, “we need to follow the guidance of God’s hand.” Thanks so much for your input.

    Dana, I am so sorry your mother is sick. I know how it feels to be the one who is trying to hold it all together. I have been where you are now. I know God will give you the answers you need. Where he guides, he provides. I will be praying for you in this situtation.

    Janice, thanks for coming by. Hugs to you, too.

    Ron, You are right in saying we should praise Him. I have been enjoying the services as well. I think God is going to do great things in our church.:)

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