The Cone of Shame Revisited

Cone of Shame

You would think he would learn.

You would think our dog would remember his previous missteps.  And you would think he would resist his urge to eat fabric.

Last spring, our dog, Iso, ate one of my dress shirts.  I talked about it in a post called The Cone of Shame.  He ended up at the vet where X-rays revealed a football-sized blob of “stuff” in his stomach blocked from passing by large pieces of my white dress shirt (it used to be white).  A few days and a large bill later, Iso came home wearing the cone of shame and sporting a large incision on his underbelly.

You would think he would remember this event from his past.

But he either didn’t remember or he just couldn’t resist the urge to check up the bottom of a fleece jacket.

Yep.  You guessed it.  He somehow reached up on the coat wall and chewed apart the bottom of a jacket.  He even chewed up and swallowed some of the zipper.  We spent the next few days watching and waiting to see if he would “pass” the jacket.  Thankfully, he seems to be doing okay, and his digestive system seems to be returning to normal.

Before I go passing blame on my four-legged friend, it’s probably a good idea to look in the mirror.

There are definitely things in my life that I shouldn’t do, but I do anyway.  Sin has a sneaky way of invading our lives and taking over our rational thinking.  Maybe it’s gossip.  Maybe it’s judging.  Maybe it’s lust.  Maybe it’s some other sin area.  Whatever it is, we all struggle with one thing or the other.  We keep doing things we shouldn’t do.

We are not alone.

The Apostle Paul talks about his own struggle with his sin nature in Romans 7:

We know that the law is holy. But I am not. I have been sold to be a slave of sin. I don’t understand what I do. I don’t do what I want to do. Instead, I do what I hate to do. I do what I don’t want to do. So I agree that the law is good. As it is, I am no longer the one who does these things. It is sin living in me that does them.

I know there is nothing good in my sinful nature. I want to do what is good, but I can’t. I don’t do the good things I want to do. I keep on doing the evil things I don’t want to do. I do what I don’t want to do. But I am not really the one who is doing it. It is sin living in me.

Here is the law I find working in me. When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. Deep inside me I find joy in God’s law. But I see another law working in the parts of my body. It fights against the law of my mind. It makes me a prisoner of the law of sin. That law controls the parts of my body.

What a terrible failure I am! Who will save me from this sin that brings death to my body? I give thanks to God. He will do it through Jesus Christ our Lord.

So in my mind I am a slave to God’s law. But in my sinful nature I am a slave to the law of sin. Romans 7:14-25

Do you see what I mean?  Even Paul struggled with his sinful nature.  But this isn’t the end of the story.  Sure we will continue to struggle with this until we get to heaven.  Yet we have a hope and a promise.  In the next chapter of Romans, Paul lays it out clearly for us:

Those who belong to Christ Jesus are no longer under God’s sentence. I am now controlled by the law of the Holy Spirit. That law gives me life because of what Christ Jesus has done. It has set me free from the law of sin that brings death.  Romans 8:1-2 (Read the rest of Romans 8 for more.)

I don’t know what’s going to happen to our dog.  He will probably continue to struggle with his strange appetite for fabric.  I don’t think you can call this sin.  It’s more like stupidity.  I’m thankful for him despite the fact he drives me crazy.  He reminds me of my own struggles and of the victory I have to sin because I belong to Christ.

I remain thankful for the grace of God.

Do you struggle with repeated sins?  What helps you in this struggle?

Don’t forget to sign up for the weekly Stretched newsletter.  Check out this post to find out how to sign up.