The Chicken Parable-Part One
One day I was driving my daughter to preschool, and I saw the most bizarre thing while waiting at a stoplight. There was a chicken lying on the side of the road recently hit and half dead. Another chicken approached its dying and hurting comrade and began pecking at it; it was actually eating its own kind! I watched in pure disgust as I watched this chicken tearing the other chicken’s flesh and literally eating it alive. I thought to myself, “It is truly heinous and barbaric to see something tear apart its own kind”.
Then the Holy Spirit spoke to me and said, “What are you talking about? This is what Christians do to each other all of the time when they gossip and backstab one another”. I never looked at it like that before; each time we as Christians tear apart one another with judgment and condemnation when we “know” “see” or “hear about” someone being down, we are literally tearing apart our brother and sister’s spirit as if we were eating our own kind alive.
Sometimes people are spiritually hit, smashed and dying. People sometimes go through things in which their fellow brothers and sisters in Christ are completely unaware. How did the chicken end up half dead and hurt? What did the chicken do to get hit? What on earth caused the chicken to be on the road in the first place? By the time we see the chicken dying on the road, do any of these questions really matter? No! However, when we see others go through difficult times or are hurting, instead of reaching out in prayer and love, we “pick pick pick” them apart until they are either rescued by someone else and moved to a new chicken coop, or they die on the inside.
Jesus didn’t question anything to help us; He didn’t condemn or judge. He took on the sins of this world so that we could live whole. One of His greatest commandments is to love our neighbors as ourselves, not eat them alive with mean-spirited words and criticism.
God often shows me life lessons in the strangest ways. Even though I am more of the wounded chicken right now, there are people who are more hurt than me and are lying on the road half dead. Call me crazy, but I certainly do not want to feast on my own kind with my words.
Next time you are ready to pick away at your brother and sister in Christ with your mouth, think about chewing a half dead chicken, and maybe you will think twice.
Thinking about this image, do you feel more like the wounding chicken or the wounded chicken? Pray and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal any areas where you have been eating your brothers or sisters in Christ alive with your words.
Mediate on the following scriptures about wounding others with words:
If you have been injuring others with your words, be quick to repent to God and to the people you hurt and ask forgiveness. If the relationship has not died, there is still a chance for restoration and healing.
If you are the one being wounded, cry out to God and hang in there. Part 2 of this parable is just for you!