Pecking Order

Recently I’ve opened the gates to the chicken pens and given our chickens free range of the yard. By doing so it’s given me an excellent opportunity to observe the pecking order of our flock. You can learn a lot watching chickens from the porch.

A couple of the chickens will move away from the flock and begin pecking at the ground. Almost immediately the rest of the flock will come running over and then the pecking order ensues. The chickens which first scouted out the area are pushed aside, or quite literally pecked until they move. This process is repeated throughout the day.

The chickens seem to accept their places in the pecking order, as we don’t have any chickens fighting over which one is the alpha chicken with the other chickens making a circle around them chanting, “Fight, fight, fight.” No, our flock moves around the yard and the neighbor’s yard looking for tasty insects or worms, but at the end of the day they come back to the coop to rest for the evening.

What’s your place in the pecking order? You know we each have a place in society and even in our work environment. Now, I’m not saying you go and push someone aside or peck at them until they move out of your way. Although there has been much ado made about climbing the corporate ladder as a measurement for success. How are we, as Christ followers, to behave in our society?

First, we are told to consider others before ourselves: Philippians 2:3The Message (MSG) 1-4 “If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care— then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top.Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead.Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand (Emphases mine).”

Secondly, we are to live peaceably with all men and women: Romans 12:17-21 HCSB “17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Try to do what is honorable in everyone’s eyes. 18 If possible, on your part, live at peace with everyone(Emphasis mine). 19 Friends, do not avenge yourselves; instead, leave room for His[c] wrath. For it is written: Vengeance belongs to Me; I will repay,[d] says the Lord. 20 But, if your enemy is hungry, feed him. If he is thirsty, give him something to drink. For in so doing you will be heaping fiery coals on his head.[e]21 Do not be conquered by evil, but conquer evil with good.”

I’m grateful that Paul said that we are only responsible for OURSELVES. We can’t make others like us, or live at peace with us, but we must do all we can to live at peace with each other, especially with fellow Christ followers.

Lastly, I think we should spend time doing the do’s and not the don’ts:Philippians 4:8 The Message (MSG)8-9 “Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse (Emphasis mine). Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.”

Who said a chicken can’t teach you anything?

Jim Stanley
General Manger, American Family Radio
jimstanley@afr.net

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