By Stephanie Montague
The saying “Birds of a feather flock together” is an old proverb. According to an online search, this saying has been around since the mid-1500s. The general meaning of this saying is that people who are alike and/or have things in common tend to spend time or hang out together. This saying, I have found, is usually applied to folks who operate in the negative. As a child, your mother didn’t want you to hang around a certain crowd of children or one particular child as you would be guilty by association. People in the neighborhood would think you were just like those children. Ironically, the law also operates on this proverb, although I’m not certain if this was considered, but if a friend of yours is caught stealing and you are with him/her, both of you will be locked up because they will believe you’re in on the crime.
We don’t tend to think of our friendships or associations in that way. In fact, at a certain point in life you have all kinds of friends; various people in your life who offer different viewpoints and ideas. While there isn’t anything wrong with having various people in our lives, those we spend the most time with are the most important. An associate here and there may not be as impactful…but the people with whom we “flock” is important.
You may be saying, “Why? She/he has been my friend since elementary, high school, my old neighborhood. That’s my best friend.” I don’t dismiss the value of time. However, it isn’t the time in that we are going to look at but the impact the “flocking together” has on the way we think and operate…sometimes unconsciously.
The Bible speaks to the importance of like mindedness or being “birds of a feather”. Generally, you don’t see eagles and pigeons flying together. We don’t see peacocks hanging out with flamingos. The feathers don’t match and therefore their needs and aims don’t match. The feathers have to match for us to flock together. Amos 3:3 says, “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” If we are walking together have to agree how to get where we are going…if we are together. If we don’t agree we cannot walk together. This applies to so many aspects of life and all kinds of relationships. There was a game where they would tie two people’s leg together and race other people whose one leg was tied to each other. This is a great visual of how important it is to be on one accord. If one person chooses to walk and the other to run it wouldn’t work. If one chooses to go left and the other right it wouldn’t work. You have to have the same stride and communication to succeed.
Take another quick example Joshua and the spies. In the book of Numbers chapter 13, Moses sent out 12 spies to explore the land of Canaan. In that land they saw giants. They saw huge fruit that took several men to carry. Upon their return, 10 of the spies reported, “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we.” (Numbers 13:31) It goes on to say from those men “The land through which we have gone as spies is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people whom we saw in it are men of great stature. 33 There we saw the giants (the descendants of Anak came from the giants); and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight.” Those 10 we of the same flock. They all saw things the same. They all spoke the same “language” in this case the language of fear. Now Joshua and Caleb said in Numbers 13:30 “Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it.” These two were birds of a feather that could fly high. They knew what God said He said He would give them the land. So regardless of what they saw they believed God.
We must be in unison with those we flock with so we can soar high. Make no mistake, birds of feather do flock together. But who’s in our flock?
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