The Negligent Shepherd#
Shepherds of the Lord's flock bear higher divine assessments. The Lord is expectant and serious about His giftings and callings. These He does not withdraw, but will judge.
God writes quite disturbingly at various places in the Bible of His shepherds' behavior. He speaks of those who have abandoned their flock.
Woe to the worthless shepherd who deserts the flock! (Zechariah 11:17a)
These days shepherds may continue present, yet by their words they have already abandoned the flock.
Three indicators of a shepherd who has become negligent, yet is still present:
1) Their judgements precede any mercy.
BUT - Rash judgement is the enemy of tenderness and compassion.*
2) Their imperative for teaching accuracy denies any teaching affection, for their hearts are as rock.
BUT - Our hearts of stone become hearts of flesh when we learn where others weep.*
3) Orthodoxy hangs as dry clouds above the flock, and thus grace has fled.
BUT - Grace will always be a banana peel for the orthodox foot.*
The sheep will flounder, fall, or flee to barren lands.
... the authority the Lord gave us is for building you up rather than tearing you down... (2 Corinthians 10:8)
Shepherds are first called to be encouragers, building the flock up. This is the reason they wear His mantle of authority. Yet, it is out of the overflow of a man's heart that he speaks.
The Good Shepherd, the Lord does not abandon His sheep, instead He carries them close to His heart.
He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in His arms and carries them close to His heart, (Isaiah 40:11a)
# This SoulSnack is the 3rd and final in the current short series examining Biblical shepherding:
* Each quote is penned by Brennan Manning
Today's Soul Snippet:
'Jesus seeks a shake of the hand, not a shake of the head.'
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