This is the second of a 4-part series on Sheep, Goats, Wolves and Sheepdogs. Today, we discuss Goats.
Along with sheep, goats are part of every shepherd’s fold. Goats display many of the opposite characteristics of sheep:
a. Sheep like to be led; Goats like to roam. They have the “grass is greener somewhere else” syndrome.
b. Sheep like still waters; Goats thrive in turmoil and strife.
c. Sheep are easily corrected; Goats are stubborn or “butting” in nature.
d. Sheep like to “get along;” Goats are always agitating others with their words and ways.
e. Sheep like to lie in rest, trusting their shepherds; Goats are always suspicious of their leaders. Goats always profess to have the “gift of discernment.” What they have is the “gift” of suspicion.
In summary, goats are not easy to pastor, but they still need a shepherd. Their threat is to the pasture, not the flock itself; they are not carnivorous. A goat can change its ways and become sheepish. However, the largest hindrance to this occurring is the goats propensity to roam. A goat won’t stay anywhere long enough to let the Word change him. When something on the menu is to their personal distaste, they’re off again to another pasture.
One word to pastors: Jesus said to leave the ninety-nine sheep to go search for the one lost sheep (Luke 15:4). You don’t leave the sheep to go retrieve the goat. They are roamers; while they were there you did as much as you could with them, now they are gone. They will be in a new sheepfold next Sunday; saying the same wonderful things about their new church that they use to say about yours.
Tomorrow we will discuss Wolves.