Yep, you read that right. No, I haven’t been hanging out on the farm. (Hellooo….city girl here!). I’m not talking about the four-legged wooly variety of sheep. I’m talking about the two-legged human variety. You know, all through God’s Word, we are referred to as sheep. The comparison is rich with meaning. Sheep are herd animals – they will follow the crowd…even if it’s wrong. Domesticated sheep need a shepherd to take care of them. If a sheep gets “cast” – rolled onto its back – it needs help being righted again and can actually die from being upside down too long. Yes, I can see the similarities very clearly! And, I can see so many blogs in that little bit….but….this is different….
You see….I have suffered from sheep bites this year. I have been hurt by the very people we expect to be nice to us, to take care of us – by folks in the “flock.” In two completely separate incidences, I have been wounded to the core of me. The pain was only intensified by the fact that, in both instances, I was completely blindsided. To add to that pain was the fact that the biters didn’t seem to understand my pain. There have been no apologies, no remorse. And it has completely sidetracked me this year. It’s made me doubt everything I thought I knew to be true. In the midst of it though, I’ve learned some valuable lessons. So, in case you’re suffering from sheep bites too, I thought I would share.
First, let’s discuss sheep bites. What counts as a sheep bite? Well, I’d say it’s anything that another Christian does to hurt you. It could be anything from a lie or a secret being shared to absolute betrayal.
Now…what to do? When you find yourself the victim, how do you handle it? Approach the other person and try to get it settled. Maybe it’s just a misunderstanding. Often, I think we are hurt by things that were never meant to hurt us and we need to give the other person the opportunity to clarify. Sometimes, the hurt is deliberate. The answer is the same – approach the other person and give them the chance to make it right. Then, forgive quickly.
I think it’s important to note at this point one very important fact. You may never get an apology or acknowledgement of wrongdoing. Guess what? You have to forgive anyway.
The most important thing to remember is this….give it to God! His Word says vengeance is His. “Let go and let God” has become an over-used cliché, but it’s exactly what we have to do. Pray for the person. Forgive the person. Give up the need to see them punished. Then, lean heavily into your Heavenly Father, because He is the only One who can heal sheep bites.
So….if you’re suffering from sheep bites, I hope this helps. It won’t be easy or fast, but God is good and will heal your wounds. If, however, you have been guilty of being the “biter” and haven’t apologized, it’s not too late. Remember, even if a wound isn’t intentional, it still hurts.
Be blessed and tell someone you love them!