I was listening to Keith Green's song, the Sheep and the Goats the other day. If you have never heard of Keith Green here is a YouTube copy of the song for your enjoyment:
The song is based on Matthew 25:31-46. I have always read that Scripture through the eyes of the "sheep". Another words, as the Christian who did those wonderful Christian things like feed the poor, visit the sick, etc. I felt somewhat self righteous. I have never looked at myself that way but I see now that I was very proud of being a sheep. Every time I have looked at this passage I recalled all of the times I ministered to those less fortunate.
I was needing a good smack upside the head.
I got when just over a week ago.
I was coming back from a Salvation Army social service conference Abbotsford, BC. It was a great few days of encouragement, refreshing and a challenge to embrace those God has called us to work with.
I left feeling pumped...and tired.
We left the conference after lunch to start the 13 hour drive home. We had plans to overnight a little over halfway home. A couple hours in we stopped at a convenience store and got out to stretch. As we walked in the store, my wife noticed a lady hitchhiking on the road. Unbeknownst to me she began praying and asking God if we should pick her up. Apparently He said yes because as we pulled out on the highway, she asked me to stop and pick this lady up.
Let's just say I was not happy with the decision. I was tired and didn't feel "up" for ministry. I pulled over and the lady hopped in. Over the next couple hours I had my own conversation with God, one I am ashamed to say was filled with grumbling and complaining. Meanwhile Sarah was chatting this lady up in the backseat. As she continued the conversation the lady began opening up and the next thing I know she was sobbing.
You would think that would have softened me up a bit but even though I silently prayed for her and for Sarah, I was still miffed that our schedule was impacted by this distraction. I was wondering what this adventure would "cost" us.
After awhile, she asked to be dropped off and Sarah again spoke with her about God bringing her into our path and the woman again broke into tears.
I had a lot of repenting to do that day. I was reminded of this passage of Scripture and on this day, I was acting much more like a goat than a sheep.
I was not wanting to inconvenience my plans. MY PLANS! God obviously had other plans but on this day I was not wanting to go along with them. Only God knows where this woman is with her journey towards Him, but I know that if my thoughts had become action, it could have negatively impacted this woman to the Gospel.
Thankfully Sarah was listening to God.
I share this confession of my mistake because I don't want you to make the same one. I thank God His mercies are new every morning.
I never again want to act like a goat. I was miserable.
I want to reach those less fortunate but not out of pride. I want to serve those God brings me into contact with in humility.
I want to be a sheep because of Him!
Sheep or Goat? Which one are you today?