I came across this profound illustration that should cause each of us to look to see where we are in the Christian Family, it is titled The Christian Family.
A popular book that was published in 1970 was named, Jonathan Livingston Seagull, extolled the “virtues” of independence and individuality at any price. The seagull is a popular subject for photography, and many people who vacation at the shore end up with some kind of souvenir bearing the picture of a seagull. It is easy to see why people like this figure. A seagull exults in freedom. When flying alone, he thrusts his wings down in majestic loops and circles.
In a flock, though, the seagull is a different bird. His majesty dissolves into in-fights and cruelty. Concepts of sharing and manners do not seem to exist among gulls. They are so fiercely competitive and jealous that if you tie a ribbon around the leg of a gull, making him stand out from the rest, you sentence him to death. The others in his flock will furiously attack him with claws and beaks, hammering through feathers and flesh to draw blood. They’ll continue until he is a bloody heap.
If we must have a bird as a model for our society, there is certainly a better choice. Consider the wild goose. The V-formation they use in flying enables them to fly with more ease and speed. The point position is the most difficult because of wind resistance so the geese rotate this position every few minutes. The easiest flight is experienced in the two rear sections of the formation, and the stronger geese permit the young, weak, and older birds to occupy these positions. It is also probable that the constant honking encourages the weaker geese.
The seagull teaches us to break loose and fly alone, but the wild goose teaches us to fly in a “family.” We can fly further with our Christian family than we could ever fly alone-and, as we fly our efforts constantly help others in our family.
God is our Heavenly Father, He does not want us being like the self-centered, self-glorifying seagulls who are lone rangers. God’s will is that we have the disposition of the wild goose. Apostle Paul sums it up like this,
“Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.” (Philippians 2:4-5, NKJV).
Your servant in Christ,