Three Ways To Deal With a Balky Cow

624226688_f2ba793a11_zCows and humans have a lot in common.

Some cows remind you a lot of humans. I’m not talking about body style so don’t get huffy.

My brother has a small herd of cows that he loves taking care of. Once though, he had this cow who nursed a fixation for the gorgeous grass in the neighbors field. 

It all looked the same to me but I suppose cattle see things that humans don’t.

Time after time she broke through my brother’s fence so she could graze in the next pasture over. Even worse she had definite leadership qualities and others followed her.

Fortunately Charley has nice neighbors who understand difficult cows but he had to herd the cows back onto his side and repair the fence time and time again.

Today the ornery cow is no longer with us. She probably worked for McDonald’s as a hamburger for a time after leaving my brother. Either that or as a tough beefsteak in a restaurant somewhere. 

When it comes time to sell cows from the herd, the difficult ones get moved to the front of the line.

Are Your Cows Getting Out?

Can I ask you a delicate question? Are the cows getting out too often in your life? Are you sure?

Probably most of us have cows which rip holes in our interior fences and escape to munch in forbidden pastures from time to time. “Cows” of anger and frustration, livestock of pride, mavericks of sexual sin, a nasty tongue, self-pity or, well, you name it.

A lot of different breeds populate the cattle herd that wants to break down the fences inside of you. 

Sometimes I get the feeling that whole societies have broken down fences, “The kings of the earth rise up and the rulers band together against the Lord and against his anointed, saying, ‘Let us break their chains and throw off their shackles.’

“The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them. He rebukes them in his anger and terrifies them in his wrath, saying, ‘I have installed my king on Zion, my holy mountain.’” (Ps. 2:2-5, NIV)

The Christian who ignores his unruly cows will deal with some serious problems in his life. If he doesn’t do something he will continue as a professional Christian, going through the motions but miserable, unfulfilled in his life in Jesus.

He may even be able to cry a few tears Sunday morning but sensitivity to God dulls and attraction to sin heightens.

Three Steps Towards Rounding Up the Herd

So, David, the cows are out. I’m a city dweller. I didn’t even know I had any cows. What do I do?

1. First you’ve got to admit you’ve got a problem. 

Owning up to the hole in the fence is the first step towards repairing it. Ask God for forgiveness. Decide that you’ve had enough of that “cow.” Call the butchery!

2. Then turn to God for help. If we had a nickel for all the times we planned to change and do things right but then didn’t follow through, well, we’d all be nickel-airs. Rich!

Here’s a message God sent to those who love Him, “If I ever shut off the supply of rain from the skies or order the locusts to eat the crops or send a plague on my people, and my people, my God-defined people, respond by humbling themselves, praying, seeking my presence, and turning their backs on their wicked lives, I’ll be there ready for you: I’ll listen from heaven, forgive their sins, and restore their land to health.” (2 Chron. 7:13-15, The Message)

The power of His Holy Spirit living and working in our life repairs the breach and gives order to our lives.

3. Finally, get some help. God doesn’t call us to be “Lone Ranger” Christians. He constructed His Church so that we needed each other. You need friends in the Lord. Find someone who doesn’t have a big mouth but who does know how to listen and pray. Talk with that person. 

“Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so God can heal you. When a believing person prays, great things happen.” (James 5:16, New Century Version)

You can have good intentions until the cows come home but if you want to change, get up and repair that fence.

And you might want to turnsome of those ornery cows into 



Hmmm …

“Our culture has accepted two huge lies. The first is that if you disagree with someone’s lifestyle, you must fear or hate them. The second is that to love someone means you agree with everything they believe or do. Both are nonsense. You don’t have to compromise convictions to be compassionate.” Rick Warren

image:, creative commons, Alessandro Pautasso Mooh®

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