Polar bears are cute, cuddly, and look like they want a big hug…or, not. In fact, polar bears are amazing killing machines. They can smell prey from miles away. They can run, swim, and attack with great power. And, for five scientists in an expedition on Russia’s Troynoy Island, polar bears posed a great risk.
For the last two weeks, 10 polar bears surrounded the research building of five meteorologists, holding them captive. The bears even camped against the building, near the windows. Their presence disrupted the research and forced the researchers to remain in the building at all times. Help, in the form of “pyrotechnics and guard dogs” finally arrived yesterday to scare the bears away.
Of course, we can’t blame the bears! If you are a Polar Bear, you hunt; it’s what you do. And if you are a polar bear living in a harsh environment of ever-shrinking ice, shorter hunting seasons, and less prey available, and catch a whiff of something to feed your family…you look for a meal.
I preached a sermon once about the 3 Bears in Galatians 6. Of course, I’m not the first, by any means, to see the connection or preach that lesson. But one thing I didn’t emphasize was that simple thought – bears can be expected to do what bears do.
Here’s a thought, though: “Can Christians be expected to do what Christians should do?” The 3 bears of Galatians 6 are: bear the burdens of others (6:2), bear our own burdens (6:5), and bear the marks of Jesus (6:17). So…is it natural? Is it instinctual?
It depends. Helping others, doing works of faith, and modeling Christ-likeness are not natural to the human condition. Consuming is our natural default. But, if we are Christians, raised to live in Christ, then our nature has been changed. In fact, the “bear-test” is a really good way to see if we are in Christ (2 Corinthians 13:5).
When you “sniff” a need, do you become a Galatians spiritual bear? Or do you revert back into something fleshly of this world? Just a little “food” for thought…