The Same Old Bull

 Dark hereford bull.

Cowboys Be Cowboys

by Eric Elkin


[F]or I will forgive their iniquity, and remember their sin no more.
— Jer. 31: 34

My brother-in-law is a cowboy. He spends the entire year getting cattle ready for one big bull sale in March. They create portfolios of the different bulls and market them to potential buyers. In many ways, it is like an NFL draft. Each bull has a picture and a video. The documents on each animal contain detailed information. The auctioneer will shout out this information as he accepts bids.

One of the most enjoyable parts of a bull sale is the opportunity to be around friends. After spending a year stepping in bull, and being worried about selling a bull, it is always good to have a few moments to shoot the bull with friends. My brother-in-law couldn’t wait to tell me a great church story two friends shared with him at the sale.


Two brothers, whom my brother-in-law described as real hardcore cowboys, told a story about their father. The boys took over their dad’s operation several years ago. But, they still watched over him. He was a 90-year-old tough old cowboy who had started to suffer from dementia.

The boys took their dad to a bull sale and the next day to church. During the church service, the preacher started in on one of those fire and brimstone sermons. His voice was animated as well as his hands. The excitement speeded up his speech, and he started banging on the pulpit as he talked about people’s sinful ways. The old man forgot he was at church. He thought he was still at the bull sale. Getting tired of the preacher talking about the same old bull, he shouted out, “Sell the son of a b*tch, already!”

I was laughing too hard to hear the rest of the story, but I like to think that old cowboy stopped the preacher dead in his tracks.

Some people remember every little letter of every law written in the Bible. Typically, they can place a name and a face to each violation. However, we are not to remember the letters written in the book, but the one in your heart. It made me think how most of us suffer from a form of spiritual dementia. We remember the sins and forget the forgiveness. What a blessing that God gets it right.

Click to read: Jeremiah 31: 27-34

Reflection Questions:

  • Have you ever had someone forget something bad you did to them? How did it feel?
  • Who in your life seems to always remember everyone else’s sins?
  • When do you find yourself doing the same thing?
  • How can you find freedom in forgetfulness?

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