Here’s my concern: that you care for God’s flock with all the diligence of a shepherd. Not because you have to, but because you want to please God. Not calculating what you can get out of it, but acting spontaneously.
Not bossily telling others what to do, but tenderly showing them the way.” 1st Peter 5:1-3
Peter is a disciple of Christ, a leader to many people who believe in Christ and a tower of strength to the believers. Jesus left the organized church in Peter’s care. The church is scattered, persecuted, exiled and growing like a wild fire when he writes this powerful statement of humility: Here is what I am constantly thinking about, here is what I lay awake thinking about, here is my concern: Be nice to the people you care for! Speak to them nicely, treat them nicely. Be tender to them. Don’t hide a foul attitude behind a fake smile. Be nice and do it in response to God’s love!! (Danita’s version) 🙂
After reading this through a “Mommy lens” I was left encouraged, feeling loved and convicted.
Moms are shepherds of little flocks. We are nurturers, caregivers, teachers, instructors, encouragers and so much more to our children. We have an incredibly important task. Our little lambs graze at the pastures we lead them to. Will the grass be green and lush? Will the sun shine warmly on their faces and will the water source be fresh and clean? Will the atmosphere be peaceful and safe? We have a tremendous responsibility and it can only be accomplished one way. We must turn the inspection light onto ourselves and to look inwardly with the eyes of Christ. To see ourselves as created in Christ, God the Father’s workmanship and little shepherds who do good work. When we see ourselves as the recipients of the careful, loving care of our Great Shepherd then we become imitators of Him and can lead our little lambs, who we are simple stewards of, to great pastures. We can watch them grow and develop in this nurturing relationship and environment. We can lead them tenderly, with understanding and with a sense of purpose. We can create and mold instead of react and deflect.
Here are the things that I am encouraged to remember from this humble teaching from Peter:
- My Father is the Great Shepherd. If my ideas, impressions and what I believe about Him are healthy then as I imitate Him I will be loving, caring, tender and responsible. I will see my little flock flourish just as I am flourishing under His care.
- When my flesh tells me to feel sorry for myself and think destructive thoughts like: “I have so much to do and no one helps.” Or “I am exhausted and these kids just want more.” I must stop and tell those thoughts that “I am His little Shepherd and He trusts me with His little lambs. All I have to do is rest in His grace and I will begin to imitate My Shepherd.”
- My Shepherd is not bossy. He leads me tenderly. He keeps me safe in His care and guides me with understanding and love-even if I don’t necessarily like the path. He, even in His never ending strength and as my creator, respects me and honors me. He is kind. He is nice. He is my example of a shepherd. Though He could force me, He never does! He just stays there with me patiently teaching me through every circumstance and I naturally respond with trusting Him more and leaning on Him more.
Our “Mommy lens” gives us a unique perspective. We each have a lifetime of opportunities crammed in to a few short years where we shepherd our little lambs. “Let us take care for God’s flock with all the diligence of a shepherd.”