The Boss Sheep
The Boss Sheep – lessons
All we like sheep have gone astray.
‘That is the boss sheep’ my friend said as we looked at the three sheep in the pen. ‘He eats all of the feed and the lambs do not get enough.’ One of the lambs was sick. So, we put the boss sheep and the strongest lamb outside in a fence and kept the sick lamb inside.
The sick lamb promptly became frantic. Missing his tormentor and his other friend, he raced around the pen looking for how to reunite with them. What a lesson. He was starving and sick to the point of near-death. But when the source of pain and loss was gone, he was unable to function. Pain was better than loneliness. He was sick.
So, we allowed the other healthier little lamb back into the pen to give the starving one some company. They both calmed down. A lesson. Sometimes a hurting sheep just needs a safe place with healthy company and the abusers removed.
The boss sheep outside now became frantic. His power was broken. He raced around his pen complaining with loud baaa’s. Another lesson. When bullies are isolated they have no idea what to do except make all the noise they can and protest loudly.
We have turned everyone to His own way…
People who are hurting will often stay in the abusive situation. If removed, they will often demand to be returned. Their self-identity has been so damaged that they prefer abuse to solitude. They typically turn to unhealthy persons and groups to find their safety. Sadly, that does not work. They do not find safety and their emotional and spiritual health continues to deteriorate.
In II Corinthians Paul graphically calls the Church to account for its wrong thinking and behaving.
For you put up with fools gladly, since you yourselves are wise!
For you put up with it:
• If one brings you into bondage,
• If one devours you,
• If one takes from you,
• If one exalts himself,
• If one strikes you on the face.
To our shame, I say that we were too weak for that!
But in whatever anyone is bold–I speak foolishly–I am bold also.
Besides the other things, what comes upon me daily:
My deep concern for all the churches. II Corinthians 11:19-21, 28
Paul holds the people accountable for choosing to stay with abusive leadership. He challenges the people for “putting up with” those who are not Godly leaders.
He clearly does not countenance the harmful leaders. He holds them accountable for leading in ways that are not Godly.
Paul was a father and a shepherd. He had the sheep in his heart. He had a “deep concern for all the churches.” Here he speaks plainly and bluntly about the tendency of sheep to follow wrong but impressive shepherds.
Jesus is the “Great Shepherd of the sheep.” Sometimes, as “under-shepherds” we need to address the flock plainly and bluntly. We need to separate the lambs and the sheep from the boss sheep and protect the lambs and sheep at all costs to us because of the cost Christ paid for them.
… and the Lord has laid upon Him the iniquity of us all.
We all, sheep and shepherds, are in need of redemption. Life brings temptations to depart from the Great Shepherd. When we lose sight of this, we sin – greatly. We sin when we depend on human shepherds to be our gods. We sin when we pretend to be gods for the human sheep.
We must be responsible to God. Systems demand loyalty and people like to give loyalty – it makes them feel secure. That is why the sheep stay in unhealthy situations. That is why some unhealthy sheep can be boss. Both are wrong.
Where is the Apostle Paul today? Where are shepherds today who will say, “Demas has forsaken me because he loved this present world” and “Alexander the coppersmith has done me much evil, the Lord reward him according to his doings” and “Them that sin rebuke before all that others may fear?”
Where are the shepherds today who have “care for all the churches?” Where is truth today? Where has it ever been? God is calling for shepherds to follow the path of Paul in honesty and humility and hatred for sin and caring for the flock. To not care for the lambs and sheep is to not care for God.
Is God calling you to that? The Bible has the answers. We like to read the pleasing parts and avoid the difficult passages. Why? What are you protecting? To what are you loyal? What are you defending? Answer those questions today. God is waiting and so are the sheep.
My friend noticed the sick lamb and called my attention to the situation. Together we corrected the wrongs. That is the call on our lives today.