Follow Jesus, Escape the Hysteria

Matthew 9:36 – When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.

Looking around, you are watching how peer pressure works—people flocking to grocery or big box stores to pick up months’ worth of toilet paper, tissues, water, cleaning supplies—all in response to the continuous deluge of media reports on the latest coronavirus statistics.  They have developed a herd mentality. Several years ago, 10-year-old Sasha Smith coined the term “sheeple” to help identify people who “go along to get along” and become members of the “flock of the moment.”

Sarah’s word fits the crowds of harassed and helpless people that Jesus looked upon. They were running with the flock because they had no shepherd to lead them. And every shepherd knows that sheep left to themselves become highly anxious and often panic, blindly running hither and yon, going with the rest of the flock because that seems the thing to do. They become like sheeple…hysterical people, and mass hysteria is a dangerous form of groupthink.

This is a good time to be led by the Good Shepherd. “Do not be anxious about anything,” in says in Philippians 4:6, and then the antidote to anxiety is given, “but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” The ever-familiar Psalm 23 reminds you that the Lord is your shepherd, and he leads you to quiet waters and green pastures where you can rest and refresh yourself.  Place your confidence in Him today. “Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you” (2 Peter 5:7).

Pray With Us

Dear Loving Father, I confess that I sometimes fall into the potential to be a sheeple, being led along with a bleating, frightened flock, stumbling into their anxieties. Remind me today of Your mighty power and Your grace. Fill me with Your peace as I trust in You and You alone through this time of crisis.  Guide my steps, endow me with wisdom to respond with calmness of mind and heart. Thank You, O Almighty God, for loving me.  I can pray these things because of and in the name of Jesus, my Savior.


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