I recently heard a vet say something I had never heard before. He said, "Once dogs get a taste for chocolate, they begin to seek it out...even though it's not good for them." Essentially, dogs try chocolate once, like it, and then repeatedly seek it out despite the fact that it makes them incredibly sick and could ultimately kill them.
I can relate. I once had a dog jump up on my bed and rip through a rather expensive leather coat to get a Reese's peanut butter cup out of the pocket! Owners tell their dogs over and over again how bad chocolate is for them. They may even bop them on the nose with a rolled up newspaper or put them in their crate as punishment. But, for most dogs, it doesn't help. That chocolate tastes so good that it's almost irresistible.
Chocolate is to dogs as sin is to humans.
Paul says in Romans 7:18-19, "For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing." And we all struggle with that very same issue.
My downfall is that I tend to look at the opportunity rather than the outcome. Like a dog eyeing a chocolate bar, I can get so focused on the instant sweetness of something that I forget about the long-term ramifications of it. But when I'm able to reverse my thinking--when I'm able to look at the outcome first--I have found that I am far less likely to fall into innocent-looking traps.
Dogs think about chocolate, not emergency trips to the animal hospital.
Mice think about cheese, not highly-sprung metal bars.
People think about money or fame or power or pleasure, not bankruptcy or jail or divorce or disease.
If we could just change the way we look at tempting situations in our lives--if we could think about lasting results rather than fleeting satisfaction--there would be far less sin and suffering in the world. And maybe, just maybe, I would still have my leather coat.