"My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers."1
Pastor Verne Arens writes how "he once knew someone who was a leader in the congregation. At one time or another he had filled most (if not all) of the important leadership positions in that church. More than that, however, oftentimes he was the one who would volunteer for those tough, dirty jobs that no one else wanted: washing dishes after a potluck supper, helping to teach the confirmation class, stacking shelves at the food bank.
"This is the kind of person you would like to clone and with whom you'd like to fill the congregation, right? Wrong! This person was a delight to have around until things didn't go his way, and then he was a nightmare: disruptive, divisive, even destructive. He didn't understand the meaning of community and was not a team player. And when (not for the first time) he and his wife climbed into their huff-mobile and drove away after some disagreement, the congregation finally had the good sense not to beg them to come back. Finally that congregation had learned to distinguish between the voice of a shepherd and the voice of a stranger."2
Another description of this type of person is "a control freak." Sometimes, after a reasonable number of rebukes, the most loving thing we can do is to ask them to leave. As long as we keep giving in to them, we become a part of their sickness (insecurity). It's interesting to note that when they threw Jonah overboard, there was a great calm!
Suggested prayer, "Dear God, please grant that I will never be a control freak and thereby play the role of 'God' in other peoples' lives. If I ever am, please open my eyes to what I am doing and help me to change my ways. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus's name, amen."
1. John 10:27, 5 (NKJV).
2. "Help Wanted," by Rev. Verne Arens.
All articles on this website are written by
Richard (Dick) Innes unless otherwise stated.