Thursday, January 10, 2013

How to be a good Sheep Herder

How to be a good Sheep Herder

Ever wonder why there are no real good “how to” books on how to be a good farmer.  It’s because farming has been handed down generation to generation, without a need for a manual or instruction book on just how to be a good one.  The shepherding trade is just another example of how the tricks to the trade have been handed down throughout the ages.  Peter uses this trade to teach the elders of the church to “shepherd” their flock.

“Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock; and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away.”  1 Peter 5:2-4(NKJV)  When Peter spoke these words he was addressing those chosen to be elders in the church.  These were the people selected to be the leaders of those believers who wanted a life in Christ.  Peter stressed the idea of “leading by example.”

I take this advice personally, and try to live a life not only pleasing to the sight of our God, but that serves as an example to those around me.  This can be very difficult to do when we have a society that wants to make its own rules, its own standards and its own way of doing things.  When we choose to live according to the gospel, we are challenged in every aspect because the world simply does not work that way.  Our example becomes a little strange because everyone watching knows how the world works, and sees our behavior as being different, not worldly or acceptable.  It’s difficult to “oversee” a flock that feels like they have every right to wander aimlessly through the pasture feeding on whatever strikes their fancy, but this is just how the world sees itself.  How do we shepherd a flock that wants no part of being “shepherded.” 

One of the things I can recommend in this particular situation is that, as Christians, we merely stand our ground, we create a boundary that we will not cross.  We make sure that our beliefs stand as a fence to the pasture.  No one is allowed to move, damage or change our fence unless we make the change.  The only way this can happen is if God has a different pasture in mind.  Otherwise, we continue to mend our fences, we stand tall and strong in our beliefs, and we do not allow the world to break down our boundaries.  It’s when we have the gaping hole in our fence that evil makes a run for the opening.  We simply need to be good shepherds and keep mending our “de” fences against evil, allowing for nothing to get past our beliefs in the one true God.  In doing this, we are becoming a great example for others to follow.  Like lost sheep, they will move towards the leader, towards the good shepherd who cares for them and provides them with all the things they need. 

How’s your “herding” skills today?

“in the world, not of the world”