For a long time, I didn’t understand why the bible referred to us as sheep and those of the world as wolves. Sheep are not the smartest creatures. They’re cute fluff balls that seem relatively unable to defend themselves or do anything on their own. Wolves are beautiful. They’re smart. They’re strong. They’re strategic. I have a lot of Native American in my family tree and we love wolves, dreamcatchers, etc… It kind of bothered me that wolves were seen as a bad thing in the Christian world. I was looking at the animals. I didn’t understand the message.
Today it hit me why we are God’s sheep and those of the world are wolves: behavior. Sheep are gentle. Wolves can be loyal to those in their own pack but can viciously devour those who aren’t like them. Christians are supposed to be loving and peaceful. The world is anything but. Often, the church is anything but.
Wolves have always gone after sheep. We are living in a time that sheep are now chasing after wolves. Stick with me. Here is a situation we’ve all seen: social media divide between Christians and nonbelievers, hate over what the bible says and how people live differently, and the stereotypes between left and right political spectrums. I’ve watched over the last few years as the one side becomes increasingly hateful to the Christian side or the conservative side. I’ve watched as the Christian side has tried to keep their cool, be respectful, explain their views, and emphasize that they respect people even when they disagree. And I’ve watched the one side go from hating, criticizing, telling off, cussing out, threatening, snarling, and gnashing their teeth at Christian beliefs to now calling it hate or phobia or intolerance. Christians are threatened with being labeled judgmental or not welcoming of all. And I’ve seen some Christians who are rude right back but for the most part Christians have truly tried not to be offensive to others by living out their faith in their own lives or for having the beliefs that they do. I see something else now. I see Christians cower. They hide. They’re afraid to share their faith. They only want to post the warm and fuzzy verses that are encouraging. They avoid controversy. They fear offending people. They fear losing their friends . . . and now . . . the sheep chase after the wolves. They apologize for their beliefs. They deny them. They won’t answer direct questions. They skirt around the issues. They water down their beliefs. They change their message to cater to the people. They dilute their gospel. They compromise. They won’t speak sin. They won’t speak to the power of the cross. They’re so hung up on making sure everybody likes them that they chase after the wolves who are threatening them to bow down and appease what they want to hear. Why would you try to please people who treat you badly? Why would you want to hang on to the people who are telling you off absolutely outraged that you have different views than them? Why cave to follow their message? Is that really what you want to be a member of?
There will be division. You need to become okay with that. There will be people that stop being your friend, don’t want to hang out with you, unfriend you on Facebook, leave your group, not agree with your faith-based lifestyle when you are open with your beliefs. Listen, honey. That division is not a bad thing.
Stand firm in your faith.
You can do all of the above. You can be respectful and people will still hate you. You can be kind and people will still throw a fit if you don’t tell them what they want to hear. Their primary issue is with Jesus and what He stands for, not so much you personally. If they hate Jesus, they will hate you too when you stand with Him.
Stop trying to please the wolves. Stop chasing after them. Stop catering. Let them go. It’s not your job to be liked by the world and gain popularity. You were called to be set apart. You were called to come out of the world and live differently. You are His. There is protection in staying close to the Shepard.
Perhaps, some of the wolves in sheep’s clothing (as the bible talks about) were good sheep that chased after wolves and it twisted what’s inside of them. It’s dangerous for your spiritual wellbeing to feed yourself with the wolves’ food. Don’t buy into it. Your food (spiritual nourishment) is the infallible Word of God.
So when the wolves come, don’t hide and don’t apologize. Live out your faith with confidence. Others are watching. Be the light. The darkness will not like the light but some of those in darkness will be seeking what you have. Don’t hide and don’t back down. Be gentle in spirit. Speak truth without wavering.