Friendships and relationships take a lot of time and energy. Sometimes there can be conflicts, challenges, irritations and heated arguments in relationships. Sometimes what you get from the relationship is far less than the huge amount that you put into the relationship. That might not be a bad thing, it might just be the reality of the relationship.
In John chapter 10, Jesus talks to His disciples about two types of people, those with a true shepherd’s heart and those who are hirelings. “But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, … sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; … The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep. (John 10:12, 13 NKJV)” Jesus describes those that give the appearance of caring and those that really care for others. Jesus uses the example of shepherds. There are true shepherds, who truly care for others, and then there are the hirelings, those who appear to be caring but when the danger or the difficulty comes the personal cost becomes too great and they “check out”. The difference between a shepherd and the hireling is not the quality of the care given when things are “going well”, as both would give good care when there are no problems, but the good shepherd sticks it out in the tough “costly” times, when the wolves appear.
Jesus gives us the example of being the good shepherd that gives His life for the sheep, but in so doing He challenges us to be willing to minister in a similar way. Who should you care and minister to even though it costs you much?
Lord give us the true heart and strength to be true shepherds to those You have entrusted to us.