I know what it feels like to be bitten by an animal. I have felt the pain of being “reviled and [people] cast your name as evil” (Luke 6:22) by ones that proclaim that they love you. The jaws that result from the “hireling syndrome” are false accusations that sometime are rooted in fear of Christ-like confrontation and the tendency to think evil. It is contagious, and it will hinder us from loving everyone – the hirelings and those who are ravenous wolves (Matt 7:15).
The Nature of a Hireling… (John 10:13 “The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep.”)
One underlining nature of a hireling is that he/she really does not genuinely care about the sheep or the people of God. According to dictionary.com, a hireling is “a person who works only for pay, especially in a menial or boring job, with little or no concern for the value of the work.” The hireling usually lack relationship with the people of God or not known by their own, unlike the Good Shepherd (John 10:14 “I am the good shepherd; and I know Mysheep, and am known by My own.”). They also don’t enjoy doing the work of ministry or love their personal ministry before God. They lack passion and love, which encompasses so much of the nature of our Good Shepherd who is willing to lay down His life for us. If they see any form of a wolf/false teaching coming, their response is that of self-preservation and fear (Matthew 7:15 “Beware of false prophets…they are ravenous wolves.”).* They run away from hearing your explanation from anything that look like a wolf. So many times, we hear something new that we haven’t experienced or heard something that may be unorthodox/different, and we get a shot of this “hireling syndrome.” Instead of dying for your enemies and confronting wolves, they run away and protect themselves because they’re afraid of being bitten by the false teachings. Finally, another characteristic of a hireling is they’re only staying there for compensation or for their own gain. Compensation can look like money, gaining respect and favor of people, and etc. Any future signs of headaches and pain will cause them to shrink in fear and run away from things that look like a wolf, even if it’s not. They’re so fearful of a wolf that it hinders them from Love and discerning the difference between a sheep and a wolf. Sometimes, you begin to see the wolf in the sheep because the fear of wolf is what consumes your thought life.
Don’t be Hypocritical. Love Thinks no Evil…
One nature of love is that it thinks no evil (1 Cor 13:5). Matthew 9 says, “2…When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, ‘…your sins are forgiven you.’3 And at once some of the scribes said within themselves, ‘This Man blasphemes!’4 But Jesus… said, “Why do you think evil in your hearts?” The “thinking evil” is in context of responding first in unbelief. They usually think and find the evil in everyone.Their lifestyle of thinking is the meditation of everything that is not true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report, nor praiseworthy (Phillippians 4:8) of a person and more. Even if they have seen the fruits of the Spirit (godly characters) in a person’s lives, they will say it’s all false or it’s all part of a huge deception. The scribes even saw the fruits of the power of the Son of God, which was the demonic deliverance of a person (Matt12:24), and they basically said, “You’re demon-possessed.” Afterward, they had the audacity to tell Jesus, “Show us a sign” (Matt 12:38). One who thinks evil seeks to find evil in other people, and even if the fruits are shown and the truth is spoken, they still respond in unbelief. The scribes and Pharisees saw the signs and the fruits of Jesus’ lives, and they still call Him all kinds of evil. This is what Jesus warned us of, “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy” (Luke 12:1). The leaven is contagious. It spreads many times through accusations and gossip, and if you’re not careful to discern the syndrome, the next think is that it will begin to attack the ones around it as well.
Don’t be Afraid of Devils. Cast them Out.
This pointing of finger, falsely accusing people, fear of going through the Christ-like confrontation, and tendency to think evil of one another needs to stop. Even if someone is a wolf, don’t be afraid to cast the demon out and to love our enemies. How can we love someone or die for our enemies if we can’t stand next to them? If they are filled with false teachings, why don’t you share to them the truth? The truth will set people free. Finally, don’t take it too personally if you are persecuted like Jesus for living your lifestyle of faith or getting bitten. He says, “Blessed are you when men hate you, and when they exclude you, and revile you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of Man’s sake.” Be exceedingly glad because you are a child of God!Don’t let the fear of the devil-is-out-to-get-you-with-its-poison hinders you from being a beacon of light. You are called to cast the devils out of people. Don’t be afraid to transform your sphere of influence with the truth of God and to love the hell out of people! Love is not afraid of getting bitten.
* A false teacher is someone who have heretical teachings and lead people away from worshipping God.
(2 Peter 2:1 “But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction.”)