We were driving home from church on Sunday and that’s when we he appeared. Behind the steering wheel of of our mini-van, my husband pointed in the direction of our junior high. I turned the direction of his finger and I saw what he was pointing at and I gasped.
He was big.
He was dirty.
He was scary.
“Is that a wolf?! Turn around!” All the kids were looking out the window and screaming, “What?!? What is it?” My husband turned the van around and we pulled into the parking lot of our kids’ school. I rolled down the window to get a closer look.
Just someone’s lost dog.
He eventually ran off.
What we thought was a big ole’ scary wolf was actually just someone’s pet, but the outward initial appearance gave us a good scare. We all laughed about it and drove home.
My heart wasn’t laughing.
Because as much as we might think it’s funny, there are wolves roaming around our campuses. They don’t have sharp teeth or pointy claws, but they walk through our hallways in disguise. This is much more frightening than the sweet dog we encountered outside the doors on Sunday.
Thinking about that brings me to Matthew 7:15.
My children attend public school and have AMAZING teachers. They have learned so much through education and experience, but every school year I pray that the teachers and staff members who are believers make themselves known to my children. I want my kids to know that when they are in a “difficult position” they can go to these teachers because they rest on biblical truths. And God delivers on those prayers man. He delivers people to my childrens’ lives in the most beautiful way.
- Like the teacher who prayed with my son’s group because she knew they needed peace in their anxiety.
- Or the teacher who took the time to share her faith with my son and opened her door for prayer any time.
- Or the teacher who we ran into on opening night of “God’s Not Dead 2.” Her seat was right next to ours.
- Or the teacher who prayerfully organizes weekly CSU meetings and allows my daughter to lead.
- Or the administrator who helped pave the way for our family to donate money to negative lunch accounts assuring every kid is able to eat a hot meal.
These are the people my kids can count on in the walls of their school, but it’s a constant learning process as they discern who’s a sheep like they are and who’s a wolf dressed in sheep’s clothing. There will be teachers, students, staff members, and coaches who will lead them astray. That’s the truth of it, but pressing into God’s word will give them the wisdom and courage to discern the intentions of those around them.
Jesus continues in Matthew 16-18 when he says:
“You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseasesd tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit.”
He calls us to be fruit inspectors!
We will recognize the ravenous wolves around us by their fruit. This is true for the teachers that surround us, but it also goes for our friends. I’ve been guilty of letting people into my life and allowed their words into my hearts only to find out they were not “a sheep.” They were only disguised as one.
My husband’s spiritual gift is discernment. He’s helped us identify good fruit and bad fruit, but most importantly he’s helping us to detect them before they strike damage to our heart. Then he is guiding us in ways to protect ourselves mentally, emotionally, and spiritually while learning to love these wolves from a distance. How do you guide the sheep under your roof from those are dressed in sheep’s clothing?