The Grass is Not Greener

>> August 29, 2010

A good shepherd takes extra measures to assure his flock has green pastures to graze upon. This takes work. Rotating the flock to different pastures keeps  the sheep from overgrazing, pulling grass roots when they eat. Moving them to different pastures also allows the manure to be scattered and the shepherd can take time to irrigate the pasture if needed. Lush, green, nutrient rich grass, should make any sheep say...I shall not want

But guess what? Sheep are stupid. Isn't it any wonder we are compared to sheep in the Bible? Yeah...cute, woolly, stupid sheep.

Even though a flock may have the best pastures around, there is always one or two that long for grass on the other side of the fence. Sheep that think the grass on the other side is greener, even if it is brown, burnt, and unsavory. 

The author of A Shepherd Look at the 23rd Psalm, Phillip Keller, shares in his book about a certain ewe that, in the eyes of a breeder, had been the perfect ewe. She produced healthy lambs and excellent wool, but she was restless. She longed to venture beyond the fence. In every pasture they moved to, the perfect breeder became a fence crawler.

The bigger problem wasn't her restlessness. While she crawled along the fence looking for the loophole, other sheep followed her. Worse than that, she taught her lambs to be restless by example and they wandered the fence on their own looking for a way to leave the lush, safe, pastures of their shepherd. 

How did he halt the potential danger to the entire flock? The killing knife.

Recently, my husband used a phrase that has stuck with me. He referred to the term, Carnal Christianbeing an oxymoron. Basically, that means being a Christian without following Christ. That's an oxymoron! The word Christian means Christ follower. So, I got to thinking...if someone is a Christian without following Christ what does that make them? An ian...a follower following what?

An ian is someone that crawls the fence. They're sitting among the best pastures any Christian would ever desire, yet they are drawn to search for loopholes to the other side. We also refer to these ians as lukewarm and we know what happens to lukewarm ians... Revelations 3:16 tells us " ...because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of my mouth."

Why would anyone want to poke their head through the fence when they have tasted the fields of the Good Shepherd? The grass is not greener on the other side. Don't be an ian...a follower of nothing. Be a follower of Christ.

But more importantly, don't lead sheep to be fence crawlers. Phillip Keller had to halt the potential danger of his flock being led to search for holes in the fence by using the killing knife.

Are there things in our lives that cause us to be lukewarm? Do we need to kill some behaviors that could be a stumbling block, teaching others to crawl the fence?

The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want...



5 comments so far...Care to leave your thoughts?:

Laury 8/30/2010  

Why do we think other people have it better when in reality, they have troubles just like us, maybe worse. We are dumb sheep thinking the grass is always greener wherever we aren't. I hope we can break the norm, though, and overcome the dumbness. Follow the shepherd. That's not too hard.

I will strive to follow My Shepherd today. Thanks for sharing, Mari.

Joanne Sher 8/30/2010  

This is SO good, Mari. An ian - so thought-provoking (how does he pronounce that, by the way? Just curious!). Following the Shepherd right along with you, sweetie.

Lisa Mikitarian 8/30/2010  

Chilling but true words--nothing lukewarm here. Excellent thoughts to ponder.

Sarah Elisabeth 8/30/2010  

So very true and so very sad. When will we learn?

Connie Arnold 9/03/2010  

So many good examples using sheep, as seen in the Bible, many books, and your post. Thank you for sharing your good thoughts here.

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