sheep with silhouette outline

The phrase “a wolf in sheep’s clothing” is illustrated by variations on this story. 

Craving fresh meat one day, a wolf blended in with a flock by disguising itself as a sheep. He fit in at first as the differences were unnoticeable. As a bonus, the wolf would feast. Undetected, it devoured one sheep from the flock each day. To the wolf, this was a genius plan. 

However, the keen shepherd noticed a change in his flock. He could tell that something was amiss. Nightly, he diligently guarded the pen, protecting the sheep from outside predators. The harm wasn’t coming from the outside. The threat to the sheep was coming from an inside source.

Not long after, the shepherd killed one of his sheep. Puzzled, other shepherds questioned why anyone would sacrifice their own flock this way.

The shepherd explained his decision. From an outward appearance, this sheep looked like all the others, harmless and minding its own business. But deeper within, its inner tendencies and behaviors were predatory because, at the core, it was a wolf.

Another phrase has been circulating recently with current and former Christ-followers.

There is no hate like Christian love.

You may need to reread it a few times to absorb the message.

There are earnest Christ-followers that choose to go above and beyond the mission of sharing the gospel. They assume the responsibility to persuade others of Biblical truths and God’s standards. To convict and convert the masses to follow Christ just as they do.

Conviction and conversion are the responsibilities of the Holy Spirit. Not ours.

When we attempt to share truth without love, it can be very harmful. Rushing through an unassigned mission without compassion, grace, or love comes across as hate.

Regardless of how well-meaning our intentions are, it will be damaging when we self-appoint ourselves to a role that is not ours. Devoid of love, our actions cause pain instead of peace. Without love, scripture is weaponized and the gospel wounds rather than restores.

People get hurt when we do something we’re not supposed to do…kind of like a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

We don’t have to guess what Christ’s love is about; Scripture gives us countless examples. He is love. The love of Christ also embodies, for example:

…the list is endless!

How can we reclaim love as Christ intended?

Connect with the Lord daily. Get to know Him personally. Set aside testimonies, horror stories, and misconceptions you’ve heard from others. Grab your Bible and get on your knees. As the Lord speaks to us during our devotional time, He will reveal the truth about us. But He doesn’t just leave us there. The Lord will also equip us to make necessary adjustments and corrections, to thrive in His love. 

Repent. Confess your sins to the Lord. He promises to forgive and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. He will renew our hearts and restore our souls.

Request a costume change. Get rid of the disguises. Learn how to become a sincere follower of Christ, just as you already are. No need for costumes.

May we be vessels of the Lord’s love, the way He intends love to be.

Sabrina Jacques-Rowe
Communication Director, Henderson Highway Church

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