The sky is always blue beyond the clouds. There is always hope and encouragement here.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Kick against the goads

Recently in my work I was driving in the state of Indiana and we passed by an Amish farm and saw a man plowing a field with a team of horses.
I was impressed with the speed at which this was happening and the straightness of the rows. It appeared to be going pretty easily.
In biblical days plowing was done with a yoke of oxen. It wasn't always an easy task. 
To accomplish straight rows the oxen needed to pull at the same speed and the same direction. This is why a yoke was used. A yoke is a large piece of wood with two loops for the heads of the oxen. The yoke kept them side by side. But the oxen could be "bull-headed" and just stand still. In this case a goad was used. A goad was a long stick of wood, sharpened on one end to a point. When the oxen would slow or stop the farmer would poke or goad the oxen in the hind end and hold it there until they moved again.  If the oxen would kick against the goad in stubbornness, the goad would prick them worse.

Do you like to be pushed? I don't. 
I don't mind being encouraged. I don't mind being inspired, asked, or lead, but pushed? No!
No one wants to be pushed into something. 
I recognize leadership skills and qualities in many people and I would love to see them develop those skills.
But I also know people who think of themselves as leaders but they do more pushing or goading than anything else.
I don't think you can lead from behind. To be a leader you need to be out front. If you push or goad people they will instinctively kick or fight against you. 
When it comes to reaching the lost, be a leader not a pusher. You will not gain a sincere dedicated follower of Jesus by pushing people and goading them to move faster.

And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” Then the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads.” (Acts 9:5 NKJV)

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