As the duckling swam, the mother hen ran frantically along the shoreline, cackling to her young in a language you or I would assume was positive and nurturing in context. The hen, did I say? That’s right, careful reader. Read on for clarification. A farmer I talked to at church was explaining that if you slipped a duck egg into a hen’s nest, she will hatch it and allow the duckling to scramble around the barnyard with her new-found family of feathered friends.
Once you get near water though, the duckling will do what God created ducklings to do – dive in and swim like they were meant to be there. Except that the fearless move made by the duckling caused a panic in her frantic mother. The hen, fearing for the safety of her adopted baby, was noticeably shaken and concerned. Did she give birth to an actual outlier?
The farmer told me such a scene proved a theory. Ducks ultimately act like ducks and chickens act like chickens. Most of us intuitively understand this idea, right? I remember bringing a frog (and another time, a snake) to elementary school. I would extricate Fred in secret and shove him in the face of one of the girls sitting near me. The result? As you might expect…screams from the girl (and the rest of her kind), cheers from the boys, another march for me to the principal’s office, with the sigh of my teacher as I left the classroom, “Boys will be boys.”
Let’s consider another situation with another classification of humans – believers in Christ and those outside the rule of His Kingdom. They both live on the planet, but operate under two different worldviews. One loves God and avoids sin, while the other loves sin and avoids God.
Both are human beings, but spiritually they are as different as apples and oranges. Followers of Jesus should not go prancing around like they are King’s kids and declaring they are better than anyone else. In their case, God initiated and ultimately caused the change (and paid for it). He gets credit for the amazing transformation (He is really talented with dirt, isn’t he?).
If we are not careful, we can get confused at times. God has taken away our sin nature, but we still need to keep on trusting in Him and not ourselves. Yes, once you put your faith, hope, and trust in Jesus, you are forgiven of sin, and securely adopted into God’s family. Even though we recognize the presence of our old sin nature, and live in a community, country, and world system under the power of the evil one, sinning should be as unnatural for us as it would be for chickens. When we see fellow Christians getting involved in sin, we should follow the lead of the mother hen and do the spiritual equivalent of flapping our wings.
Read Ephesians 2:1-13.
As the apostle Paul taught the Christians in first century Ephesus, Christians were dead spiritually before they put their faith, hope, and trust in Jesus. Not weak, not sick, not religious, but dead. Like Lazarus’ coming back to life from the dead in John 11, we who put our faith in Christ now have life. In Christ, you have moved from death to life (John 5:24).
Have you been swimming in water you should be avoiding? This may be a good time to stop and assess which spiritual species you claim to be part of? Jesus has done the hard part and we who call ourselves His followers should act like we resemble Him. Think theologically. Chickens don’t swim. Do not be chicken about saying no to sin. After all, we’re dirt with divinity.
Love is a verb,
©2014 by Mike Olejarz