Maintaining the Sheep

The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. ESV John 10:11

It’s Monday! Haha, are you thrilled to go back to work? No doubt numerous projects and duties await you no matter what your vocation. While normally we think of our to-do list and the number of things we need to do to get ahead, I want to challenge you to think about the maintenance of your job today. Yes, there are kids to feed, projects to tackle, proposals to write, meetings to attend, but are there also simple things that need to be done to maintain the wholeness of your job? Let’s look at Jesus and us to get a better understanding.

Jesus taught the good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. Obviously He was referring to Himself, but He also calls us to follow in His steps. What was He referring to aside from the cross? How can we be like Jesus? When it comes to the Christian life, many of us think of Jesus constantly pushing and expecting us to do more–sin less, give more, share our faith more, love more, serve more, etc. In many regards this is true: He does expect continued Spiritual growth. However, all that growth comes because He first gave Himself for us. The power for our growth and our ability to love/give/serve more comes from the fact that He first loved us and died for us. He has forgiven us completely, so if we try to love/give/serve more and fail, we are still loved, forgiven and perfectly accepted in Him. His awesome care for us allows us to thrive and fulfill the good works He has in mind for us.

What does this mean for you? As a mother, you want your children to thrive: good grades, great relationships, etc. One the one hand you need to push them to do these things, but they can only do them if they know they are loved. Long hugs, extra snuggles, positive notes in the lunch box–in these ways you invest in your kids allowing them to thrive. As a boss, you want your direct reports to get more done. You should expect that. But care and compassion go a long way as you build relationships and help them know how to thrive. Maintaining strong relationships is an inherent part of our job, and part of our spiritual formation.

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