Bible, Main, Thought for the day, z135
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Don’t Be A Goat!

Credit: emeraldimp/flickr/Creative Commons

Credit: emeraldimp/flickr/Creative Commons

Don’t be a goat! Be a sheep! Wait, what? I get the end is near routine, but what does that have to do with goats and sheep? Let me get right to the point on this one. Jesus, my hero, said that when He comes back He will separate the goats from the sheep. The goats get put on his left, which I am told is a place of shame. The sheep get put on the right, which is a place of honor. The goats are people who reject Jesus. The sheep are his followers. Don’t be a goat! I used to be a goat. I bounced around like all the other goats. Doing what I wanted and having a bunch of goat fun. Then I became a sheep. But I was not a good sheep. Instead of doing the things that the other sheep were doing like eating grass in the pasture and listening for the Sheppard’s voice, I jumped the fence and went to play with the wolves. Remember Little Red Riding Hood? The wolf ate her Granny, then tried to eat her. He was a nasty piece of work! The wolves I played with were not nasty at all. They didn’t have big teeth or big eyes. They looked pretty normal and instead of trying to eat me, they made me feel welcome. Like one of the pack. Except that I didn’t know it was a pack. I didn’t know that they were wolves. I am not even sure they knew it. Alas, in the end, though, their true colours showed, and I realized the lifestyle of debauchery was not healthy or rewarding. Instead of going forward, I was stuck. So you see I started out a goat. It felt okay, but I must say I am glad God tapped me on the shoulder though and invited me to be one of his sheep. Sheep farmers will tell you that sheep are about the dumbest animals around.  That’s why they need a shepherd. Someone who guides them and leads them to food and shelter. This must be true because I was a pretty dumb sheep. Going to church Sunday mornings after a Saturday night of poker or partying. I was torn between Jesus and my own desires for things I liked to do. That’s where the wolves came in. They were the things I liked. Even though it is not popular to admit in the Christian world, there is a lot of fun to be had on the outside of the fence. The problem is that it is a spiritually dangerous place. The wolves didn’t devour me, but they tried to devour my spirit. I don’t remember what happened that made me come to my senses. But I must have because I left the wolf pack and became a sheep again. This time I was not the dumbest sheep in the flock. So here I am, a former goat who rejected the offer of salvation. Then a sheep who wasn’t ready to be a sheep. Then, a wolf (sometimes in sheep’s clothing) that lived for the pleasures of this world. And now a sheep ready and wanting to follow the Shepherd. What a journey! No wonder people say I am mixed up. But this journey has given many experiences that are helpful for myself and others today. I am guessing that my adventures are not that unfamiliar to you. Not too many of us live our lives in a straight line. And I’m glad I quit all that fence jumping because now I’m way too old and lazy to be jumping anything. Don’t be a goat! Be a sheep! And stay away from those wolves!


Andy Becker is a pastor, retired counsellor and former CEO of a Hospice organization. His book, The Travelers, is available at and

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