Dispositions of a Shepherd

Dispositions of a Shepherd

“He also chose David His servant and took him from the sheepfolds; from the care of the ewes with suckling lambs He brought him to shepherd Jacob His people, and Israel His inheritance. So he shepherded them according to the integrity of his heart, and guided them with his skillful hands.”
Psalm 78:70-72


It’s hard for the modern man or woman to see themselves as a shepherd. In fact, it almost seems irrelevant to even consider one as such. However, while many might not be shepherds in the true sense of the word, each of us are responsible to steward some-thing or some-one or two or three, etc.

And so, if the principle is true (which it is) that each of us has a responsibility of shepherding (or stewardship), then wisdom beckons us to consider those who have shepherded before us…

To do that, we turn to Israel’s shepherd from long ago. What can we learn from David, the shepherd of Israel?

Three general observations:

  1. Before a larger responsibility is given, faithfulness in smaller responsibilities must be proven…
    • David, a man after God’s own heart, was faithful as a shepherd over sheep before he was a steward over God’s chosen people. David didn’t choose to be a shepherd; no, no, it was simply something he inherited, and he took his responsibility serious.
    • Therefore, every sphere of influence or responsibility we have is something we all–in some form or fashion–inherit, and we should take it serious.
  2. Shepherding entails integrity of heart…
    • While having personal agendas and aspirations can be helpful in shepherding, there must always be a fight against the temptation to make it about yourself. We get this, and should therefore steward with pure motives focusing on the interests of those we’re shepherding.
    • Therefore, having integrity of heart, which means completeness or good faith, should be our aim or disposition as we steward those within our care.
  3. Shepherding also entails skillful hands…
    • Having skillful hands means having understanding. In other words, a shepherd is a student of those within their care or spheres of influence. Our default is to assume we know by intuition; however, learning is always required to shepherd with understanding.
    • Therefore, make it your aim to study those within your care.

How Does This Apply To Us Today?

  1. The first step to being faithful in the great and grand things is to learn contentment with the spheres of influence you have already received.
  2. Aim for a pure heart, seeking the interests of others as you shepherd or steward.
  3. Remain a student of those within your care. Be one who learns the art of asking questions.

May we all, with pure hearts and skillful hands, shepherd and steward each sphere of influence unto the glory of God.

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