assumptions, Good Shepherd, guilt, guilty Christianity, helping others, sheep, wisdom, wolves, wolves in sheep's clothing
A really odd thing happened to me the other day. As I was writing a blog about being God’s light where you are, having a passion for others and that kind of thing, my doorbell rang. There stood a teenage boy and his small sister asking me about trimming my trees. They wanted to know if I could pay them to clean up my yard. It was in the middle of a school day, my dog was barking to beat the band and there stood a boy and his sister asking me about my lawn. To say that things didn’t feel right would have been an understatement.
As I was speaking to him, I thought about human trafficking issues that I have heard about in regards to children coming to your door. I also thought about the fact that they should have been in school and wondered if I should call someone. In a moment of complete honesty, I would have to say that I even thought, “Would you please leave so my dog will shut up.” Yeah, if you haven’t guessed it by now, my spiritual gift is not mercy, but the whole situation was just really strange.
When I turned down the offer to have my yard picked up, things got weirder. I won’t go into any more details, but the boy kept asking me about things and I just kept saying, “No”. At this point, it was so strange that I even thought about calling the police. Things just didn’t add up. Even the way they were standing seemed calculated and just a little “off”.
They eventually left and I sat back down to my computer to finish writing about sharing Jesus. As you can imagine, the guilt was strong. Here I was writing about having a passion for others and a few moments before I couldn’t wait to get a couple of strangers out of my yard. I sat at my computer and asked God if I should have helped. I almost got up and ran after the strangers, but do you not what He said? He said, “No.” As clear a voice was in my spirit as I have ever heard from Him. The guilt was still really strong and so I kept asking and He kept saying the same thing, “No.”
As I mulled the situation over the next few days, I remembered Matthew 10:16. It says, “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.” God’s Word tells us that we are sheep among wolves. The sad part is many wolves look just like the sheep. That’s why we must be so close to the Shepherd that we can hear His warning to flee, or His admonition to help.
Sheep are not naturally wise. They are a little too trusting at times and so are we. James 1:5 says, “But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all men generously and without reproach and it will be given to him.” We need to ask God for wisdom daily and in every situation that comes into our lives. We need to be armed with the wisdom of God in advance.
The sad truth is that the world thinks the church is stupid and oftentimes they are right. Some individuals truly need help and we need to help them. We are called to help them (Mark 9:41), but others simply view the church as a piggy bank. We have been entrusted to do God’s work with God’s resources and we need to be wise.
So, I’m not giving you an excuse to be selfish and not use the resources that God has given you to help individuals in need. But, I am saying please be wise. Please never assume that a person needs help because they appear to need help. Remember that in Joshua chapter nine the children of Israel were tricked into taking care of people that did not need to be taken care of. God wants us to be wise and not let our guilt rule us. Satan knows that Christians are commanded to help those in need. Don’t think that he won’t stoop so low as to manipulate us into situations that are not of God.
So, please pray today and ask for the wisdom that only God can provide. Don’t be scared either. Yes, there are many wolves, but there are many precious sheep as well and as long as we stick close to our Good Shepherd He will tell us the difference.