Literally spoken - a watchdog is a dog that has been trained or is bred to be a lookout for people and animals approaching a specified area. Our dog 'Bene" is a Keeshond - one breed that naturally guards its owners property. Originally keeshond were used by Dutch barge owners because they liked water and would bark when anybody approached the barge - warning the owner that a possible thief was lurking nearby. Our dog does not warn us about thieves - rather he barks at anyone and anything that approaches our property. Bene is a great watchdog. People train themselves to be watchdogs - observing and looking for activities that they do not approve of. Many neighborhoods have watchdog programs - looking out for each other's property and well being.
Mom & Dad with "Bene"In today's world there are many people who have become spiritual watchdogs - looking out for the spiritual well being of others. Some people appreciate this - not knowing where to look for guidance - others resent those who offer unsolicited advice. Those who disapprove do so because they assume that those offering advice are making a negative statement that their spiritual lives are not developed enough - the truth is that they do so - because they know that they have a good spiritual life - and they only want to help make it better. Many times different people will ask me if I am aware of certain programs that they feel I would like to know about. - not because I am not a good enough deacon - but because they know I am always on the lookout for opportunities that I can suggest to others to help them grow in their relationship with God. For each of us - as disciples of Christ - we are the new evangelists - we are the spiritual watchdogs - seeking to help others - watching for Jesus - wherever He appears.