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Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Shepherd and the Butcher

A friend of mine recently told me a story of shepherding in the Middle East. My friend watched a group of sheep being lead by a shepherd from the front and a shepherd from the back. When my friend asked which was the lead shepherd she was told that the true shepherd lead from the front and the shepherd in the back, was not a shepherd at all, but the butcher; the shepherd guides and leads the sheep and the butcher drives the sheep. This is an interesting way to look at the decision-making processes that we go through occasionally.

• Are you being lead or are you being driven to make a quick decision?

• Do you lead others to make the right decisions or do you drive and force others to rally around your decision?

Sure, there are times when a decision must be quickly made; I’m talking about decisions that require thought, preparation, and homework. And the occasional cold-call of course!

In the New Testament book of John, Jesus is asked to heal a man named Lazarus. John 11:6, “So, when He (Jesus) heard that he was sick, He stayed two more days in the place where He was.” Jesus doesn’t immediately leave what He is doing but stays two more days where He is. Lazarus actually dies and Jesus raises him from the dead later on in the story. Jesus even catches some heat from Lazarus’ sister Martha in John 11:14, “Now Martha said to Jesus, "Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.” A friend of mine waits at least three days in making a major decision, similar to the number of days Jesus was in the grave. Making an impromptu decision can have disastrous results. Remember to bring your decisions to the Lord and wait for His answer before making a decision; the results will be worth it.


Jessica M said...

I great reflective post. Ironically, my pastor preached on the story of Lazarus a couple of Sundays ago. If Lazarus had been healed instantly when Jesus had learned about him becoming gravely ill (which Jesus could have certainly done as is seen all throughout the NT of instant healings), God's full glory would not have been demonstrated in the act of Jesus raising Lazarus to life.

It definitely pays to, when given the time, reflect and pray over decisions, letting God guide, instead of our own emotions or those of others to drive us towards decisions and outcomes that don't bring God glory or fruit to ourselves and others.

Great post :)

Laura said...

I've heard it recommended to wait 24 hours before making a decision, but I like the 3-day idea. 24 hours still has allowed for some unwise decisions in my experience.