Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Are you a bully sheep?

Therefore, thus says the Lord God to them: I myself will judge between the fat sheep and the lean sheep. Because you pushed with flank and shoulder, and butted at all the weak animals with your horns until you scattered them far and wide, I will save my flock, and they shall no longer be ravaged; and I will judge between sheep and sheep.

- Ezekiel 34:20-22

Notice how in this verse, God isn't judging between sheep and goats, but between sheep and sheep? Do you think that there will be bullies in Heaven? Yes and no. Certainly there are people who are bullies who are saved, but that God once we're on the other side of eternity, all of us will be Christ-like.

Be that as it may, this side of eternity God wants us to be patient and kind and consider others before ourselves, but we don't always, do we? It's one thing to be assertive and stand up for yourself, but it's another to be aggressive about only looking out for yourself.

At recent congressional town-hall meetings there have been people so bent on being heard that they're preventing everyone else from being heard too. It's one thing to make sure that your viewpoint is heard, but it's quite another to deliberately disrupt any discussions so that others are unable to ask questions of their representatives let alone share their viewpoints too.

Maybe you aren't into politics, or you agree with the people doing the screaming. But doesn't this scenario sound a lot like a school classroom? Or a checkout line in a store? Or the line at a fast food or coffee place? Or in a club or at church?

Do you ever push and shove with "flank and shoulder?" Or butt the weaker personalities around to get your way? How can you be more considerate of others without letting yourself get completely trodden upon yourself? How can you promote your own agenda without annihilating everybody else's?

"Scattering far and wide" suggests to me that there are people who don't feel welcomed in church or in the Kingdom of God for that matter, not because God doesn't love them, but because God's people have hurt them or made them feel like they aren't accepted.

Dear Lord,
Please help us (your sheep) to do our part to welcome other sheep to their Shepherd, rather than competing like pigs at a trough. Thank you for saving Your flock. Teach us not to ravage each other and forgive us when we do.
In Jesus name we pray, Amen

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