The concept of being a stupid sheep has grown on me gradually. At times, I’ve known I was stupid… Sometimes, I’ve acknowledged myself to be weak and forlorn, just like a little lamb. But I seem to regularly get “too big for my britches” and forget my humble need for the Shepherd.
Are you sick of repeating the same unhealthy patterns over and over? I am! Sometimes, it takes a middle-schooler to speak up with filter removed in order to wake us up.
I realize that all people are twirpy at times, but those hormonal middle-schoolers take the cake! I have raised four of them so far, and still have a fifth-grader wanting in the wings. You remember how they are, don’t you? The girls are always flicking their hair, sighing, and batting their eyes. The boys, on the other hand, are picking their noses, burping out loud, and laughing at bathroom noises.
My middle-school (we called it Junior High) years were characterized by high highs and low lows. Remembering my own experience, I have worked really hard to enjoy this crazy “breed” of child. They are really funny, and unlike high school students, middle-schoolers actually seem to be aware of their goofiness.
What happened to my ability to be self-aware? How can a mature, middle-aged woman be so blind to her own flaws?
* Consider WHY you do what you do. Certain behaviors come naturally to us but may not be appropriate or thoughtful. (ex. talking, cleaning, analyzing) Ask yourself, “Is this the kindest, most helpful thing I could do right now?”
* Evaluate the situation at hand and ask two things: “What is most needed, now?” AND “What could I do or say that would be received in the best way?” Sometimes, for my temperament, I need to slow down and shut up for a while.
Here are three clues that assist us Stupid Sheep in identifying those hidden flaws.
- Look for your tendency to shift blame. Hidden arrogance, insecurity, or deceit is usually present.
- Identify boasting. When we continually draw attention to the “good” things we do, it is usually compensating for something less than good in us.
- Acknowledge your thought process in comparing yourself to others. “Well, at least I never…” or “She is always…” waves a red flag for consideration.
If you are curious about my own “goofy” yet hurtful flaws, here are a few:
- Pride is expressed as “cheerfulness.”
- Resentment is expressed in über accomplishment.
- Jealousy is underneath avoidance.
The good new is that our Shepherd is always with us and continually guides us to a place where we are close to Him and our hidden flaws are both revealed AND healed!