As the final rays of daylight gave way to darkness’ canopy, my wife and I listened to the fading voices of the chirping choir. Eventually all silenced except one…a mockingbird.
Mockingbirds are easily recognizable by their wide variety of sounds as they imitate other birds and even insects and amphibians. As we listened to this bird’s solo chorus, we heard cardinals, blue jays, as well as many other sounds we didn’t recognize.
Jesus warned the religious elite against mockingbird behavior. But I warn you—unless your righteousness is better than the righteousness of the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven! (Matthew 5:20 NLT)
I’ve been guilty of mockingbird behavior myself. When I imitate others instead of being whom and what God created me to be, I mock. God created my unique personality, gifted and talented me accordingly, and then engineered circumstances for me to use them. Trying to use gifts I don’t have-or even trying to use them outside God’s circumference for me, only leads to failure and disappointment. When asked by his mom what he wanted to be when he grew up, Forrest Gump queried, “Aren’t I going to be me?”
Drawing too much attention to myself mocks mockingbird behavior. The Bible calls it pride and warns against it. Using what God entrusts to me in the ways he desires focuses attention on him.
I also imitate mockingbirds when I pretend to be something I’m not. Growing up in a Christian home, imitating Christian behavior without actually being one would have been easy. Jesus called this hypocrisy. Association with God only comes through a faith connection…not by mocking the actions of those who truly are believers.
Don’t act like a mockingbird. Connect to God, and be who he created you to be.
Prayer: Thank You Father for creating each of us uniquely. Help us discover our gifts so we can tailor them to the distinctive persons You’ve created us to be.
Martin Wiles is a “preacher’s kid,” author, speaker, and freelance writer and editor currently living in Greenwood, South Carolina. He and his wife Michelle are founders of Love Lines From God, a devotional ministry that helps those who want to enhance their spiritual journey with Christ. His latest book, Grits & Grace & God, is available at Amazon.