On Being A Black Sheep
Often we WILL be black sheep, whether in our own homes, or among our colleagues and associates, or even among fellow church goers. If we are seeking to do our best and to serve the Lord in the power of his Spirit, then rejection and persecution will occur. How we deal with this may vary depending upon the situation. Obviously the ideal would be if your antagonistic family members for example finally come around, and finally see that you may have been right in doing what you did or believing what you believed.
Many families and communities will have some black sheep: those who are ostracised and vilified because they are considered to be a disgrace. Sometimes such treatment can be justified – sometimes not. Of course being on the receiving end of this is a hard thing to go through. And according to one unofficial measurement, there seem to be quite a few of these black sheep around.
I refer to something I just encountered on the social media. While certainly not any kind of scientific study, the reaction to a recent meme I posted tells us that this is a fairly widespread issue. The meme that someone had made and I shared had a picture of one black sheep surrounded, and given a wide berth, by lots of white sheep.
The words that appeared on it said this: “Oh look, its me at the family reunion.” I was a bit surprised at how many folks responded to this, and how many said, “That’s me!” Of course I take it that the main focus of a meme like this has to do with the Rona wars. But other things can be discussed as well.
As to what we went through over the past few years, how many folks were treated as a black sheep in the family for not fully running with the narrative, and not happily agreeing to mandates, lock-downs, masks, jabs, and the like? How many were treated like dirt for daring to ask hard questions, to think for themselves, and to challenge the Big State suppression of basic human rights and liberties?
So many suffered so greatly as they were treated with contempt, not just by family members, but by friends, loved ones, society at large, and even many churches. How many, including myself, were even barred from attending the family Christmas meal? It was a very dark and ugly time indeed.
So many families were ripped apart – some perhaps permanently. So many friendships were ended. So many relationships were broken. So many folks became black sheep overnight, and so many are still being treated this way.
As I say, I really got a lot of responses when I posted this meme. This indicates that we are not talking about just a few folks here and there but so very many who were treated like outcasts, like lepers, like second-class citizens. Many are still hurting over this. Many have been devastated at what they have experienced and encountered since 2020.
But as I also suggested, it is not just the Rona that turned so many into outcasts overnight. Other things can lead to the same outcome. Simply seeking to be a faithful Christ-follower will of course also result in this. Some who have simply converted to Christ have known instant rejection and enmity from friends and family.
Of course Jesus promised us that this very thing would happen. Consider just a few passages on this matter from one chapter of one of the Gospels:
Matthew 10:16-25 I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves. Be on your guard; you will be handed over to the local councils and be flogged in the synagogues. On my account you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles. But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.