Disclaimer: This article has not been written with the intent to slander goats or offend goat lovers. The goat is a time honored metaphor used to indicate diverse attitudes of humans towards each other. Goats and sheep have attitudes that serve them well considering their physical attributes and place in nature. I apologize if comparing people to goats is offensive to the goats or their advocates.
Initially, I thought it was the political season that was starting to irritate me with just about everyone around me. The ramp up of attack ads, manipulative Facebook promotions, and “fair & balanced” media coverage began to develop an environment began to bring out the worst of character in just about everyone I know. Many who I thought to be loving and caring suddenly began to launch attacks those with differing views. Intelligent well intentioned individuals, attacking and countering their own friends with weapons supplied by groups trained and commissioned to develop well defined battle lines. Observing this who process I came to realization that,it is not the process that is so vexing, it is the ease at which we allow ourselves to become transformed.
Some interesting characteristics about goats: (from http://fiascofarm.com/goats/behavior.htm#amf )
- No matter how sweet and loving your goat may be with you, they will on occasion get violent with their herd-mates. This is the natural ways of things, and no matter how you want them to always get along, there will be occasions where your goats fight and take “pot shots” at each other.
- Goats do not push well. If you push them to get them out of your way, they will lean into the push. It you want them to move, pull them.
- They will fight between themselves to establish dominance and they will take “pot-shots” at smaller goats to show them who is boss. There is really nothing you can do to get them not to do this – it’s what goats do.
Understanding the nature of a goat makes it very easy manipulate them. If I push … they push back. It is easy to get them to take pot shots. In the end “There is really nothing you can do to get them not to do this- it’s what goats do”
One of my best friends realized this the other day and acknowledged his political “goatiness” on Facebook Here is the excerpt from that FB conversation:
Friend: I’ve decided something last night and this morning. We lost. It’s that simple. So now I am going to walk away from a hobby I’ve had for a long time. I’m a political junkie I guess. I watch it, read it, and talk about it. However I feel that it’s a waste of my time.
So with God’s help I will walk away from it and spend the time doing what is far more important than this. Digging into my word, praying, preaching, and teaching my Grandson about the Lord! May God bless President Obama with the wisdom to do what is right and the strength of will to know and do God’s will! May he bless congress with the same, and may He pour out His spirit on the USA!
Response: Not me. I agree the part about spending more time in the word and such. But I will always keep my eye on politics. Remember, it is when Christians turned their backs that prayer was removed from school and Roe VS Wade was passed. Now so many years later, all religions except Christianity are PC. And instead of abortion being made legal, we now get to have our tax dollars help to pay for it even if we are morally opposed it it. No, I do not think completely stepping away from politics is the answer.
My Response: It was not when we took our eyes off politics, it was when we took our eyes off the Lord, stopped doing His work, and started acting like goats instead of sheep that we lost His blessing. When we aligned ourselves with “the most of these” instead of “the least these” we surrendered them to the enemy. Who are the least of these? They are those little blue spots in those big red states. They are the ones stained with pain and agony of sin who we scoff at, call names, and tell to go back to where they came from. They are the one’s that someone else offered a false hope and gladly accepted it when we kept the truth to ourselves seeking only our prosperity and comfort. It will not be a politician that answers for this tragedy before His throne, it will be those who neglected the power available to change their lives yet kept it for themselves!
This exchange was not included to make a political statement. If you are offended and angry about any of the thoughts express in the above exchange … YOU are “Acting the Goat”. If you push back and become angry when someone pushes your button or disagrees… goat. If you are tempted to take a “pot shot” … goat. Is it important to you to establish dominance … you guessed it …goat.
Maybe you think being a goat is OK. You like goats and that is who you are. Well, all I can say is, have fun with that, but fortunately, we don’t have to be goats and we don’t have act like goats.
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him,then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on his right, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.” Then the righteous will answer him, saying, “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?” And the King will answer them, “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.”Then he will say to those on his left, “Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.” Then they also will answer, saying, “Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?” Then he will answer them, saying, “Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.” And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” (Matt 25:31-46 ESV)
I have been acting the goat way to much and I am pretty much fed up with it. With God’s help, I am pressing forward into the plan that He has for me and no longer pushing back. Pot shots are kind of fun, but not at the expense of relationships. I urge any of you that truly desire to see our world changed, commit to learning the life of the sheep and following the Shepard that will always lead us into green pastures. If you don’t know The Shepard, I would love to introduce you.
Not convinced … listen all the way through this song … maybe you will get it.