Who’s Your Herd?

Did you know goats are herd animals? It’s true. They like the companionship of other goats and will not thrive if they can not be in a herd.

The funny thing about watching them in a herd is when one of them thinks he sees or hears ssomething spooky and begins to run, then they all begin to run. None of them knows why they are running, except maybe the first one, but they do it anyway. If one goat sees a tasty leaf and seems eager to get to it, all the others will abandon whatever they were chewing to try to race the first goat to the new find.

We have noticed this same kind of thing with our ducks, but with negative behavior. We have one beautiful male mallard, with a pretty green head and a perfect white neckband. The other, plainer ducks seem to despise him. Maybe they are jealous. Whatever the reason, they won’t let him eat, and they drive him away from the food we throw out. (We give him a little extra to the side.) They chase him away if he comes too close to them when they are splashing in a puddle. It’s sad, really.

My mother used to tell me, “Birds of a feather flock together.” She meant that you can tell a lot about a person by the group she associates with. She also meant if I hang around a certain group of people, I will become like them.

Psychologists tell us the same thing. Ever hear of “group think”? The simple act of belonging to a group makes it extremely difficult to oppose that group. Our nature wants to go along.

You may have heard the less than flattering term “sheeple” pertaining to people who just follow the crowd.

Which leads me to the title of this post.

Who’s your herd?

Since it is our nature to follow the crowd, to not be the only one who opposes an idea, to fit in, this makes choosing our “herd” very important.

Do you have friends who always seem to be down in the dumps? Friends who are always griping about their husbands? Friends who talk on and on about their financial difficulties? If that’s your herd, you will become like them.

Don’t get me wrong. I have my share of gripes and difficulties. We all do.

But we get to choose what we dwell on. What we give voice to. What we become.

Choose a herd who finds their children delightful, who honors their husbands, who trusts in the Lord.

And you will become like them.

 

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Comments

  1. “Choose a herd who finds their children delightful, who honors their husbands, who trusts in the Lord.”

    Sounds like I either need to buy some rose colored glasses, or just give up. IE an impossible herd to be a part of. Don’t think they would want me a flawed, grippy human being.

    • We’re not talking about perfect people here, those do not exist. We’re all sinful fallen humans. But what your looking for in your “herd” are people who are generally consistent in their lives towards honoring their husbands, delighting in their children and who trust the Lord. If they are persistent in sins and don’t show fruit in their lives then those are the “friends” you should be weary of.

  2. Cindee Nebeker says:

    “But we get to choose what we dwell on. What we give voice to. What we become.” Wonderfully said! Thank you.

  3. Amen! Preach on Smockity!

  4. Beautifully said. And a very encouraging and pertinent reminder. Thank you. :)
    Skirnir Hamilton if I may address your comment, sometimes we can’t find the perfect herd. But we can certainly try to be like that ourselves. Scripture asks us to dwell on things that are lovely, of good report, etc. We should at least try to be part of a bunch of ladies who are striving for those things. As Smockity said, we all have issues, and problems. It isn’t the absence of them that help us to be delighted in God, and the life he has given us, it is because of the Holy Spirit’s work in our hearts and our homes, and a willingness to seek that joy that works despite those trials and troubles. Some of the most delightful people I know have some really tragic stories. But they’d rather dwell on the good things, then allow the tough ones to bring them down, and take their joy. :)

  5. The Bible tells us “bad company corrupts good morals”–it IS so important to be wise in our friendships.

  6. we’ve been reading lots of Proverbs last week and talking about influence. Trying to explain how important the kind of influence we keep to our kids is so important. Sometimes we as adults forget it for ourselves. We keep people too close just because they are related to us, we’ve known them for too many years, we work with them etc..But I would say there is a point to distance yourself from those individuals if they are not producing fruits of the spirit. You can still minister to them as you would the rest of the world, listen to them, share about Christ, but stop short of the intimate details and shared times that friends share.

  7. This is so true, Connie. Sometimes, though, we don’t get to chose the herd we are in. Instead, we have to chose to be the lead goat–spook away from the complaints about families, about body shape, about money, and about the new neighbors down the road… That can be SO hard! We can change the direction of our herd, sometimes.

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