I found this version on the Internet:
"I guess you've heard the story of the shepherd that broke his sheep's leg one time. Many little stories has been told about it. And was asked this shepherd, "Did the sheep fall off of a mountain and do this?"He said, "No."Said, "What happened?"He said, "I broke its leg."Said, "Why did you break its leg? Are you a cruel shepherd?"He said, "No, I love the sheep. But the sheep got to running away from me. And he kept straying out to itself. And I know the nature of sheep. And I know if they stray too far away, the wolf will get them. So I had to break the sheep's leg to keep it with me, to draw it to my bosom, to give it a little special food. And I'll be so kind to it, that when its leg gets well, it'll never leave me any more."
This does NOT come from the Bible. As far as I can tell, it comes from a sermon delivered by Brother William Marrion Branham called 'The Good Shepherd Of The Sheep', delivered on March 8, 1957.
Why does this awful story perpetuate? It is not biblically based. I can't find anything in scripture that would even hint that this is in God's nature.
Here ARE some scriptures from the Bible:
...and the sheep hear his voice, and he calleth his sheep by name, and leadeth them out. John 10:3
So God leads us out, he doesn't break our leg.
Here is admonition from the Lord to the leaders of Israel:
The diseased have ye not strengthened, neither have ye healed that which was sick, neither have ye bound up that which was broken, neither have ye brought again that which was driven away, neither have ye sought that which was lost; but with force and with cruelty have ye ruled them (Ezekiel 34:4)
He shall feed his flock like a shepherd; he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young. (Isaiah 40:11)
It shows God's nature. He doesn't want people to be ruled with force or cruelty.
And probably the best example of God's nature straight from Jesus himself:
And he spake this parable unto them, saying, What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost. I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance (Luke 15:3-7).
Uh... no where in this story does it say that God broke the legs of the sheep that strayed.
God doesn't put bad things on us to teach us a lesson. Bad things happen because we live in a fallen world. They are a result of either an attack of the enemy or because of sin in our life. We wouldn't go out driving drunk and injure someone and say that God did this to us. No! It was a result of our own sin. We can ask for God's forgiveness and his help in these situations but we must be prepared to face the consequences of our choice.
God has been merciful to me in my life. I have made really tragic choices and gotten out of God's will for my life. I had to ask for God's forgiveness. I had to repent and turn my back on sin. The consequences could have been devastating. God has helped me to bear those consequences that I did experience.