I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
– JOHN 10:11
Kathy and I recently witnessed an educational performance on shepherding by a shepherd from Ireland. He mainly highlighted his sheepdogs and their amazing talents, but he did share some interesting insights about the sheep themselves.
He highlighted three qualities about sheep that I found instructive. The first quality this shepherd highlighted was their defenselessness. Without a shepherd, sheep do not have the means to protect themselves against predators. They are easy prey.
In Ezekiel 34:5, God condemns Israel’s leaders for not protecting the people when he said, “They scattered for lack of a shepherd, and they became food for every animal of the field and scattered.” As shepherds over our team at work, we are called by God to be their defenders against abusive customers and other attacks.
The second quality is their natural inclination towards community. The shepherd contended that when sheepdogs or predators approach sheep, the sheep begin to huddle together. They have a better chance of survival as a group than if they allow a predator to isolate them.
In John 10:16, Jesus said, “I have other sheep that are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will listen to My voice; and they will become one flock, with one shepherd.” A good shepherd encourages his or her people to become stronger by sticking together as a community.
The final quality is that sheep are humbly obedient. We watched as this shepherd used his staff to simply point in a direction. The sheep would gather and begin moving in the direction in which the shepherd had pointed in humble obedience.
As shepherds, we need to give our team clear direction; but as followers we need to be humbly obedient to our leaders.
Colossians 3:22 says, “Bondservants, obey in everything those who are your earthly masters, not by way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord.” God desires us to humbly obey those who are in authority, just as sheep do.
Think and Pray
How have you shepherded those whom God has entrusted to you?
Heavenly Father, I pray that my heart would seek to follow You. Open my eyes to see the flock which You’ve entrusted to me, and to lead them humbly and well. In Jesus’ name, Amen!
Copyright 2022, Unconventional Business Network. Adapted with permission from “UBN Integrity Moments”, a commentary on faith at work issues. Visit www.unconventionalbusiness.org for more info. UBN is a faith at work ministry serving the international small business community.