You Can’t Teach an Old Dog New Tricks
John 14:26 ESV
2 Timothy 3:16-17 ESV
Hebrews 12:11-13 ESV
I definitely believe that even thought he old saying tell us you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, that we CAN.
I even believe if a trainer is smart about it and the old dog is willing, it’s easier to teach an old dog new tricks than it is to teach a puppy.
The trick is, you have to be smart about it.
You have to relate with the old dog.
You have to train using building blocks.
You have to reward the old dog accordingly.
Take my schnoodle for example. He’s half poodle, half schnauzer. I know quite a bit about the breeds because I grew up with a miniature poodle. He lived until he was sixteen years old. My dad trained him and my dad was a great dog trainer.
Our poodle was so well trained that he watched my dad for clues about what they would do next.
When I was 21 years old, I ‘adopted’ a miniature schnauzer. He was easy to train and he lived a long life as well.
He moved several times and even when he was old, he adapted to our new surroundings.
He was easy to train and even my children could teach him tricks. When he was getting up in years we added a big feisty basset hound to our family. The hound mostly lived outside and he was very active. I always thought that basset hounds were very slow, but this dog was anything but slow!
My old dog got ‘run’ over a few times and he quickly learned how to outsmart the young hound. It didn’t take long for the old dog to convince the young hound who was “boss”.
The old schnauzer wasn’t mean.
He didn’t ever growl or snap at the young hound.
He simply and playfully took charge.
The old schnauzer trained the young hound what to do and what not to do.
Dog etiquette 101: Do not mess with old dog.
I had a great role model (my dad) who taught me a few things about dog training. I’ve also read books about dog training. I have watched shows about how to train the most untrainable dog.
All of that taught me learning a new trick is in the hands of the trainer.
And so it is with us.
As we grow and mature, we can learn new “tricks”.
The key is having the right trainer and listening to the trainer.
The Spirit is our trainer and does know how to teach an old “dog” new tricks. It’s easier to learn when we to listen to the trainer.
We can also learn quickly if we give God the Spirit permission to train or re-train us.
John 14:26 tells us, “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.”
Our companion and guide book is God’s living breathing Word.
We are told in 2 Timothy 3:16-17, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”
Trusting God on the journey makes life much easier for us because God knows everything about us past, present, and future. We know from Hebrews 12:11-13, “For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed.”
Our journey of perfect healing is Gods greatest desire for us. That’s because God loves us even more than we love ourselves.
Spiritual Practice: Surrender
Surrender to God. Ask God to teach you something new today.
In God, Deborah