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I’m convinced that one of the reasons God created animals is so we could learn from them. Sometimes I am particularly struck by how much you can learn from your own dog. While dogs do have their own bad habits, I’m going to point out the good ones.

I should probably also point out that I do not currently have a dog myself, but I have family and friends with dogs. That’s close enough, right? Of course it is.

Dogs are generally happy and carefree. They get excited about little things and loyally love their people. Many dogs are happy to just play a simple game for hours on end, or to just sit and do nothing as long as they are with their best friend! They are also very grateful in their own way. Just look at your dog. Look at your friend’s dog if you don’t have one.

Dogs are just happy to have food. They are excited every time they are fed, even though it is exactly the same thing as yesterday and the day before, and the day before that – and it will probably be that way tomorrow and all the days after that.

Dogs are happy to just spend time with their people. They are happy to see any friend that walks into their space. It doesn’t even matter what you’re doing together. Your dog friend will love it just because you are there.

Most dogs love making new friends, and have a strong loyal streak. Even if they are reserved at first, if a dog becomes good friends with you, you have a friend for life.

Most dogs are also very forgiving. They get upset when you yell at them or are mean to them, but they quickly forgive if you show signs of friendliness. Sometimes you don’t even need to apologize.

Some of the things that dogs do so easily are actually difficult for us humans, especially when we have more than enough. But just take a moment to be thankful. You have food! (Even if it’s leftovers.) You have friends who love you and care about you, and you can return the favor! There are a lot more people out there that you can be friends with, too! But perhaps the hardest thing for us to do is forgive – even when there was no apology.

Jesus Himself forgave without receiving an apology (Luke 23:34). He can give us the strength to do so ourselves. He can give us the strength to do any and all of the good habits that a dog has, and can help us do them even better.

So take a look at a dog today and see what else you can learn.