Addressing the Bull

A friend told me today about a bull he raised on a farm when he was younger. This bull had a several foot wide set of horns. If you challenged him by walking straight up to him, he would wave those horns back and forth and attack. He felt threatened and went into defense mode. That is probably what happened to Steve Irwin this week when he was killed by that stingray. The ray was fine until it felt threatened.

My friend told me that if he came alongside that bull, he could pet it, walk with it, and lead it around anywhere. It was not threatened by someone walking alongside.

People are like bulls. When we seek to effect change to their established position or preference, if we take it head on, they resist, go into a defensive posture and attack. They are shut down immediately. But if we come alongside and show them the benefit of the new approach in fulfilling the vision, they tend to be more open and will walk with you.

I encourage you to come alongside people rather than take them head on. Periodically, you will find a bull that cannot be dealt with in any other way than head on. At that point, God will give you flint for a forehead (see Ezekiel). But for the most part, we will get further ahead in effecting change if we come alongside people and watch the Lord change their hearts and attitudes.

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