Feed The Sheep, Not The Goats

“We are from God; he who knows God listens to us; he who is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.” (I John 4:5-6)

It is easy for a Christian leader or teacher to feel badly when people don’t respond to God’s word through them, as if they were teaching or doing something wrong. But John has a word for all godly teachers here: if you are truly teaching God’s word, and people are not responding, the problem is not YOU, it is THEM!

He writes: “He who is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.” This is an important assertion. In other words, John is saying that Christian preachers and teachers are not to feel judged by the lack response of worldly people to them, as if the teachers themselvers were somehow inadequate or missing the mark. Rather, the worldly people are the ones who are being judged by their refusal to respond to the truth of God being proclaimed!

Do not fear, or believe that your ministry is somehow lacking, because worldly people fail to respond to you — and by all means, DO NOT change God’s truth to accommodate them!  It is THEY who are worldly and thus they do not respond to the truth of God. It is just as the Lord explained to Samuel the prophet: “It is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected Me.” (I Samuel 8:7)  Do not alter the biblical message God has given to you, in order to please people who are rejecting Him. Feed the sheep; don’t worry about trying to please the goats.

About Shawn Thomas

My blog, shawnethomas.com, features the text of my sermons, book reviews, family life experiences -- as well as a brief overview of the Lifeway "Explore the Bible" lesson for Southern Baptist Sunday School teachers.
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