Do You Have Goats in Your Life?


Have you ever asked yourself these questions:

  • Why do I keep being attracted to the same friends?
  • Why do I choose people who let me down?
  • Why is my boss so critical, what have I done?
  • Why do I attract irresponsible people?
  • Why am I drawn to the wrong types of people, what is it about me that attracts them, what do I have written across my forehead?  Why? Why?

Some of the reasons may be:

  • Fear. We act on the need to reach out for a relationship; we are afraid to say “no,” afraid to set boundaries from fear of rejection.
  • We are stressed, need companionship, someone to listen to our problems– and even our joys and successes.
  • We see an individual who appears to have wisdom, understanding, and empathy, and they often appear to offer guidance and soft place to fall.
  • We lack the ability to say “no” to our destructive impulses.
  • We do not like to hear other people tell us no, even if it is in our best interest.
  • We seek instant gratification.
  • We are “fixers.” We can make them better. “They need me,” we tell ourselves.
  • We are easily manipulated and controlled.
  • We want intimacy and closeness, and do not consider the cost failing of to ask ourselves, “Whose needs are being met?”
  • We fear of abandonment.
  • We do not like confrontation and we lack the skills for resolving conflict.
  • We choose to be a victim, consciously or subconsciously, instead of choosing a purposely, passionate, Christlikeness that exercises self-control.
  • We battle addictions and compulsiveness ourselves.
  • Our life is disorganized with a lack of commitment to God.

Proverbs 14:15 says, ”The gullible believe anything they are told. The prudent lift and weigh every word.”
Proverbs 14:30 says, ”A sound mind makes for a robust body, but runaway emotions corrode the bones.

Often our desire for companionship, or our own unhealthy past experiences, cloud our judgment and prevent us from making godly choices in relationships. But by studying God’s Word concerning people and relationships, we can learn to be wise, sound minded, and in control of our emotions as we build godly relationships.

So what does a Goat look like? From 1Timothy we identified 19 characteristics of unhealthy individuals. In the coming days we will look at 10 of those characteristics.

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2 thoughts on “Do You Have Goats in Your Life?

  1. I like this but I am wondering why the bulk of responsibility for a goat’s actions seem to fall on the “gullible”? I know plenty of fine, delightful people who have been taken advantage of . . . not because they are sinfully gullible . . . but because there are some sinful, crafty, downright evil wolves out there in sheep’s clothing. And a lot of pastors and churches are not doing the recognizing.

    *I shy away from some of this teaching because it almost presses those who have had goats in their lives to believe that he or she is defective somehow, personality-wise, and needs to change.* There is something to be said for protecting ourselves. There is also something to be said for protecting others who have not developed wisdom, yet.

    • This talk was in the context of asking those questions of ourselves at the beginning of the journey with someone who is just beginning to recognize dysfunctional relationship patterns.

      The responsibility for the “goat’s” actions are ALWAYS the goat’s. But as one who had been caught in a lifetime pattern of being “taken” in by goats, I understand what needs we are attempting to have met in those relationships.

      But you’re right, sometimes it doesn’t matter how well versed we are in the schemes of the evil one; he can still use people to deceive and take advantage of us. In the last two years, I have seen some of the wisest, most discerning people I know be completely fooled by some really well practiced goats and wolves. Only Jesus is perfectly wise and discerning, so I would say that we all have room to continue to grow in grace, wisdom, and discernment.

      Hopefully these questions can be used as a first step in helping those who are painfully gullible to begin learning to protect themselves while the community around them serves as a safe place to develop the skills necessary to recognize goats and wolves sooner. But you’re right, some are so deceitful and so evil, we can only recognize them as we clean up the aftermath of their destruction.

      I understand where you’re coming from, so I hope that sheds some light on the context and the issue of responsibility.

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