As disciples of Jesus we are called to be ‘shepherds of our lives.’ We are to develop the qualities Jesus the Shepherd mentioned in John 10:
The sheep hear his voice
He calls his own sheep by name
He leads them out
He goes ahead of them
The sheep follow him
They recognize his voice
They never follow a stranger
They run away from strangers
They do not recognize the stranger’s voice
This is our model for shepherding our families, our marriages, our children, and our businesses, our friendships with the principles mentioned above. We shepherd our entire living with the fidelity and responsibility of a good shepherd.
Perhaps the ‘shepherd formula’ is this:
“Love must be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil, cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another with mutual love, showing eagerness in honoring one another. Do not lag in zeal, be enthusiastic in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, endure in suffering, persist in prayer.” (Romans 1:9-12)
To avoid the shepherd life is to become and define the hireling, or ‘hired shepherd’ mentioned also in John 10: the one who runs from tough times, dodges responsibility and cares only for self and not sheep. This person is made of Jell-O.
“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” Jesus