I am afraid that many of us have bought into the idea that the Shepherd’s role is to fleece the sheep. That his primary concern is personal gain.

We use words like “God’s glory” in a way that would portray his love as utilitarian, selfish. I, for one, saw God as the ultimate glory hog. Not a very endearing concept! I may respond to his demands out of fear, but I would not be inclined to sincerely love him with all my heart, soul, mind and strength.

And if God views us in such a pragmatic way, if he values us only for what he can get from us, then how would we be inclined to view those who (like us) are made in his image? How would those of us “in ministry” treat those whom we serve?

Our understanding of the Shepherd’s true nature is of utmost importance, and that understanding is in constant need of correction.