With two dogs, two cats and an aquarium full of fish, our house is a bit of a menagerie. You might think we wouldn’t feel the need to acquire any more pets, but guess what? We did. There was, after all, something missing from our house of fur and fins. Those things were wings.
Enter two parakeets—Buddy Blue and Peckie Sue.
I hate to say it, but I’ve got issues with these so-called feathered friends. This is because THEY have issues with ME—and it’s been a blow to my feelings. I’ve never met an animal I couldn’t bond with, but these two have given me the Big Shun. Peckie Sue especially dislikes me, a fact she demonstrates by zooming past my head like a miniature F-15.
Buddy Blue is a biter, and both birds are snobs. Whenever they see me, they literally turn their backs and tuck their little heads together—a sure sign that they’re talking about me.
When we first got these not-so-fun pets, I always made it a point to whistle and let my voice go all sing-songy whenever I was around them. This appears to be when their dislike for me began. I think they think I’m a dork.
Many Christians will tell you that they’ve felt banished to the land of Dorkdom by members of the non-believing world. Birds of a feather really do flock together—and if your feathers are of a different kind, be prepared for some degree of exclusion, dislike, offense and attacks on your beliefs.
It is, however, easy to be drawn into the Worldly Flock. In the Parable of the Sower, Jesus warned, “’Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up.’” (Mark 4: 3-4 NIV) Though Jesus was illustrating how Satan can steal the Word as soon as it’s given to someone, it’s also important to realize that the devil is always seeking ways to wreck a Christian’s life.
A cousin sent me a story called “Satan’s Meeting.” Here Satan gathers with his demons to devise schemes against Christians. While he acknowledges that he can’t steal their souls, he delights in that he can steal practically everything else. Here are a few instructions he gives the demons:
“Let them go to their churches; let them have their covered dish dinners, BUT steal their time, so they don't have time to develop a relationship with Jesus Christ."
"Distract them from gaining hold of their Savior and maintaining that vital connection throughout their day!"
“Keep them busy in the non-essentials of life and invent innumerable schemes to occupy their minds.”
“Tempt them to spend, spend, spend, and borrow, borrow, borrow."
“Persuade the wives to go to work for long hours and the husbands to work 6-7 days each week, 10-12 hours a day, so they can afford their empty lifestyles."
“Keep them from spending time with their children."
“Over-stimulate their minds so that they cannot hear that still, small voice."
“Entice them to keep the TV, DVDS, CDs and PCs going constantly in their homes. This will jam their minds and break that union with Christ."
“Even in their recreation, let them be excessive."
“Keep skinny, beautiful models on the magazines and TV so husbands will believe that outward beauty is what's important and become dissatisfied with their wives.”
“Keep the wives tired and give them headaches!”
“Keep them busy, busy, busy!"
“And when they meet for spiritual fellowship, involve them in gossip and small talk so that they leave with troubled consciences."
Satan closes the meeting by assuring his minions that these strategies will fragment families, destroy heath, ruin finances and seriously hinder a relationship with Christ.
No doubt, plenty of stuff can cause Christians to look, feel and live just like the flock of unbelievers. The world is full of nets that want to catch and hold us captive, but Proverbs 1:17 teaches, “How useless to spread a net in full view of all the birds!” (NIV) This is saying that birds will avoid a trap if they see it—so if God is first and we’re obedient to His guidance, we should recognize nets before they ensnare us.
As for the Buddy Blue’s and Peckie Sue’s of this world, they’ll always exclude us from their cages, but that’s okay.