Tuesday, September 25

The False-Modest Shepherd

True confessions: I've struggled a lot wondering if I should write. At a recent conference I was convicted that I'm not supposed to judge the gifts I've been entrusted to steward, but should steward them. I wrote a few parables to capture my felt conviction. I'll take the risk of posting two here:

A wealthy landowner hired a shepherd and left barns full of food and large pastures, saying, "Feed and tend my sheep." Some time later, he returned to see his flocks. When he came, he found the sheep weak and dying of hunger. "What is the meaning of this?" he demanded. The shepherd replied, "I was afraid I would do something wrong, because I am not an expert at feeding sheep." "You wicked servant," said the master. "I gave you everything you needed for the task. All you needed to do was to give them what I gave you." The master took the flock away and assigned that person to hard labor until restitution was made.

Once a king appointed a governor over a city, and left him to see that the people fared well. When the king returned, he found the  people weak and starving. Barns and factories were full of food, but the people had the meagerest portions. "What does this mean?" he demanded indignantly. "The people thought the food came from me," stuttered the governor. "I didn't want to grow proud by getting credit for your generosity. I was afraid you would see me as a usurper."
"You wicked servant," replied the king. "If you knew I was so generous with you, you should have passed that generosity on. What kind of king do you think I am, that I would care more about proper credit than my people's lives?" Then he stripped the governor of all responsibility and set him to shovel manure, and gave authority for the city to someone he could trust.


Lina Trivedi said...
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Joe said...

thanks for sharing Jon. I think they're great.

Michael said...

i saw that you had a blog a while ago, and it actually gave some weight to my decision to start one (eubanksme.wordpress.com).

i like both of your parables, but i like the first one better; it feels closer to home :) take care, and i hope to be seeing you soon.