Recently I read an interesting article about the effects that close emotional bonds may have on dogs and their owners. It seems that as dogs learn to hear the sounds produced by their master’s voice, they may actually develop regional accents. The study, conducted in the United Kingdom, suggested that dogs in Scotland have the most distinctive accent in the British Isles and the dogs in Liverpool sound just like The Beatles…okay, they don’t, but they do have higher-pitched barks as compared to the lighter tones of the Scottish dogs. Researchers concluded that dogs imitate their owners to bond with them. The closer a dog and owner were, the more similar the sounds of their vocalizations were.
While it is only one study and may seem far-fetched, there have been many studies that indicate dogs are affected by and take on characteristics of their masters. If a Yorkshire Terrier is in a home with small children, for instance, the dog tends to be hyper. If it is in the home of a retired widow, the dog will likely be more subdued. There is also the old thought that dogs end up looking like their masters.
Regardless of the level of legitimacy of these claims, it does bring up an interesting set of questions when we consider our relationships with the Lord. How much do we sound, act, and appear to be like our Master? Would people recognize His influence in the things we say and do? As we are actively reaching out to those around us, do they hear and experience the love, hope, and joy of Jesus in us?
The more we know Jesus ourselves, the more we can share Him with others. By having daily Quiet Times of reading the Bible, thinking through it, praying, listening in silence, and learning, we will know Him more and the Holy Spirit will make us more like Him. Our bond with our Master will be closer, and our lives more like His.
If you are not in the practice of a daily Quiet Time, I encourage you to start. The benefits of intimacy with the Lord will be a blessing to you, and to those you encounter daily. As we engage with the Savior, we are brought to life in Him and empowered to love others in life-giving ways!
– Pastor Evan