A True Pig’s Tale
by “Aunt Carolyn”
A pig is a pig, they say, but her pig would be different! After years of sewing, cooking, gardening, and beef cattle projects, the pig was expected to add a little variety to life, experience to the youngster’s training, as well as coins to her piggy bank. A noble undertaking it was, and so the little pig was moved from her dad’s large herd to a special pen built exclusively for such a special animal.
He was a little white Yorkshire, beautiful (if you can call a pig beautiful) and specially bred for bacon. His proud new owner, aware of just the lines necessary for the approval of such an animal, could just imagine showing him at the fair with blue ribbons and prize certificates posted on his wall. With the proper feed, cleaning, and training, she would turn this little porker into a hog that any farmer would be proud to own.
“Mortimer.” Perhaps a more prestigious name could have been found, but at the time “Mortimer” seemed suitable. To be sure, no pig could have been treated more prestigiously. At least few pigs I know have their own private pen and feed trough with corn, sorghum, oats, tankage, and alfalfa to consume to their hearts’ (or stomachs’) content. Few also have the tender, loving care and personal attention that Mortimer received. No day passed without one or more sessions to scratch his back and tummy and rub behind his ears. All this time he was talked to with sweet sayings to compliment his beauty and encourage continued good growth and behavior. His frequent baths were a labor of love with thick soap suds, a huge scrub brush, and plenty of elbow grease applied until Mortimer’s white bristles sparkled and his pink skin shone through with a softness and texture befitting a pig of his stature. Basking serenely in all this care and attention, Mortimer only grunted his satisfaction and waited for more pampering. Developing into such a state of perfection, what an excellent, fat pig he was! He knew the pleasures of only the highest quality, purest feeds. He knew the marvelous feeling of being thoroughly clean, completely free from dust, dirt, or grime. He knew the delight of an unsoiled pen with a soft straw bed on which to lie. He even knew the elegance of a large pink taffeta bow on his neck to compliment his lovely pink ears and snout! Oh, what a fine pig he was!
The weeks seemed to pass very quickly as Mortimer was fed and groomed in preparation for exhibition days ahead. All went so well that there was little doubt that Mortimer could win top honors in the county fair, state fair, Swine Association, or any other show. All went well, that is, until one afternoon when his gate was left slightly ajar. That tiny gap was Mortimer’s challenge to escape the confinement of clean, unsmudged surroundings and flee to the mire of the nearest mud hole. Rooting and grunting in ecstasy, he wallowed in the black, sticky mire blissfully unaware of any call to higher ground or hygiene. What disappointment; what frustration! The youngster had worked, fed, and scrubbed him to no avail! All the transformation on the outside had done nothing for his inner nature. The pig was a pig, and a pig he would always be. He was born a pig, and no amount of outer refinement would fix his inner piggish desires and traits. His young owner could weep and wail, fuss and fret, or threaten no exhibition at the fair and it phased Mortimer not one iota. He reveled in the mud hole, gloried in the pig slop, and wallowed in the muck and mire.
Boys and girls find themselves with the same problem. Their mother, aunt, teacher, or preacher tries to teach them, instruct them, reform them, and refine them. At times they even try to improve themselves, but it is all to no avail. The best efforts fail, the noblest exercises fall short. Left to themselves, boys and girls revert to the lying, cheating, gossiping, stealing, sassy talking, selfish wanting, cloudy pouting, and a hundred other outward actions that show the sinful nature within. No amount of outward reformation can change the inside nature of a boy or girl’s heart. No scrubbing with soap and water, no church membership, no confirmation, not even the most sincere New Year’s resolutions can change a youngster’s heart. He will return to his sin one way or another. A pig is a pig, and a sinner is a sinner. Jesus said it was so. He told the scribes and Pharisees. “...Ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess” (Matthew 23:35). “...Ye are like unto whited sepulchers, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness” (Matthew 23:27). If the religious leaders’ hearts appeared so sinful in Jesus’ sight, how must ours appear?
Is there no way to change? Is there no way to have a clean, pure heart? Is there no way to change your life from wrong to right? Is it a hopeless situation?
Perhaps you have been discouraged because you have found yourself sinning against God and against others. You have tried to change only to fall back into your old ways again. All the New Year’s resolutions in the world have not helped. Like Mortimer, the outside is fixed, but you need something, Someone, on the inside. Christ offers the only answer, and His answer works! “...If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new” (II Corinthians 5:17). Receive Christ as your Savior today. Know the joy of new life in Christ!It would be hopeless except for one answer, and that is the good news: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” (I Timothy 1:15). He died on the cross to pay for your sins, and when you recognize that you are a sinner and receive Christ as your Savior, the divine Holy Spirit comes and dwells within. It is then, “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27b).
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