being Branded By God According to me
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“Riding for the brand” this expression means “loyalty to a man’s employer or the particular outfit he rode for.” The brand was a symbol for those who lived and worked on the ranch—a visual representation of the values and principles they believed in. The cowboy dedicated himself to the boss and to the group, to values like discipline, focus, honesty, respect, and teamwork. The idea of riding for the brand can easily apply to our personal relationship with God.
From now on let no one cause me trouble, I bear branded on my body the marks of Jesus.
***In Romans 12 Paul tells us how to ride for Christ's brand.
Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them. Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all! Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone. Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say, “I will take revenge; I will pay them back,” says the Lord . Instead, “If your enemies are hungry, feed them. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals of shame on their heads.” Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.
Romans 12:9-21 NLT
Back then—as it still should be today—”The brand was a ranch's trademark, representing pride, duty and stewardship, while inspiring loyalty, dedication and cowboy camaraderie. When you rode for the brand, it meant that you had signed on to the mission, that you had committed, that you were a dedicated team player.
Several poets/songwriters have reflected at length on what it truly means to “ride for the brand.” I think the great Red Steagall may have summed it up best in a sweet poem by that same name: “Son, a man’s brand is his own special mark that says this is mine, leave it alone. You hire out to a man, ride for his brand and protect it like it was your own.”*
As to riding for a brand, cowboy poet Red Steagall summed it up best in one of his poems that earned him recognition as the Official Cowboy Poet of Texas, “Son, a man’s brand is his own special mark that says this is mine, leave it alone. You hire out to a man, ride for his brand and protect it like it was your own.” So, what does it mean to ride for a brand? How do we know when and how to ride for a brand? In the old west, when a cowboy rode for the brand, it meant that he had signed on to the mission, goals and aims of the ranch owner. It meant that he was committed and that he was a dedicated team player. It meant, in the words of Red Stegall, that he gave his promise to protect the brand as though it were his own.
Son, a man’s brand is his own special mark that says this is mine, leave it alone. You hire out to a man, ride for his brand and protect it like it was your own.” — the poem Ride for the Brand by Red Steagall
Now, before accusing me of being preachy, understand that agreeing to ride for a brand doesn’t mean blindly following an unethical business or corrupt owner straight down to Hell. It does, however, mean that when we sign on the dotted line, we should seek to give our best efforts and should look after the company’s assets as though they were our own while doing everything we reasonable can to protect and promote that organization. I suppose my belief is that we don’t need legal documents to tell us what we should and shouldn’t do and we certainly don’t need reams of paper to govern how we treat each other. Thinking in my naive way, if we would ride for the brand and agree to do everything we could to earn our pay, we wouldn’t need HR policies, and dress codes, and performance improvement plans, and counselling sessions. In short, we might make things easier for ourselves and easier for those around us.
When we give an honest days work, each day and every day, we are more personally satisfied with our efforts and ironically we’re seen as more valuable by an organization. And, more valuable, means more frequent promotions, bigger raises, and extra bonuses. So, if we want to improve ourselves professionally, perhaps we can think like the cowboy and ride for the brand. Each day and every day, no matter how tired we may be and no matter how much we may disagree with the strategic direction, because, well, just like the cowboy that’s what we agreed to do. It’s the promise we’ve made and the code we live by. In that way, whether we’ve ever thrown a leg over a horse, roped a cow, or enjoyed a meal from the back of a chuck wagon, we are living the cowboy way of life and enjoying the tangible and intangible benefits that accrue to us.
Essentially, “Riding for the Brand means putting the welfare of your group above personal gain.” That’s pretty clear, don’t you think? Stop thinking about how a deal or situation or issue will benefit just you! Think in broader terms. Consider others. Act to bring about the greatest good for the greatest number.
What is Riding for the Brand and what does it mean to you and me? Well, Riding for the Brand means that we put Purpose in the saddle of our dreams, beliefs and actions. It means that we look within before looking without so that we will be better able to address the concerns of the community. It means that give our best (even when our best is only 68% of who we can be). It means showing up, day in and day out, and doing the work that is necessary. It means that we “live outside the box” of convention. It means that we sacrifice and give and love and support and encourage and believe. It