by Sandy Kirby Quandt
Our Samoyed, Samantha, was sneaky. She was also a persuasive leader. This combination not only resulted in trouble for her, but for her dog-brother, Shadow, as well. Although Shadow was not sneaky, he was a willing follower, and that fact often resulted in trouble for him.
During one blustery winter day our backyard gate blew open while Shadow and Samantha were outside. We didn’t realize they were missing until after they escaped. Once we saw the open gate, and the dogs didn’t come when called, Pie and I began a search of the neighborhood. Before my son and I got into our car and slowly drove through the area calling and looking for the two runaways, we checked with our neighbors. No one had seen our dogs.
After an exhaustive empty-handed search, we reluctantly returned home to wait. We knew Shadow would not leave the yard on his own. We also knew Samantha would.
It didn’t take much thought to figure out when Samantha noticed the open gate, she seized the opportunity and Shadow simply followed her lead.
After several long hours of waiting, one of our neighbors knocked on our front door. Standing on the porch beside him were Shadow and Samantha. From the looks of the two dogs, I’d say wherever it was they’d gone off to, they’d run the entire way there and back.
Shadow trusted Samantha and followed her. Unfortunately, Samantha wasn’t always trustworthy. It took Shadow the rest of the day and evening to recover from their escapade through the neighborhood.
There are times we might follow others. There are times others might follow us. Either way, it is good to know whose voice we listen to, where we’re going, and count the cost before we set out; making sure the person we follow is trustworthy. When we lead, we should lead according to God’s direction. When we follow, we should follow those going in God’s direction.
When we allow peer pressure to cloud our judgment and blindly follow someone without thinking through what it might cost us, we could find ourselves lost and in trouble.
When we compromise our values as leaders who follow Jesus, and let integrity slide we are in danger of hurting those who follow. It doesn’t matter if we are in a position to lead, or in a position to follow. What matters is whose voice we listen to.
We are called Jesus’ sheep. Jesus said his sheep listen to his voice. They follow him. The only way we will know his voice is to become so familiar with what he says in the Bible there can be no mistaking it.
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My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. John 10:27 (NLT)
I wish you well.
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