Don’t Be a Chicken

Author: A. W. Smith — Host: Dylan KraayenbrinkPosted on: April 9, 2024

Unlocked: Daily Devotions for Teens
Don't Be a Chicken

READ: MATTHEW 20:16; MARK 9:33-37; GALATIANS 5:13-16; PHILIPPIANS 2:1-11

Have you ever been picked on? Or have you made fun of others for being different? In our broken world, this is an all-too-prevalent reality. But here’s the thing. When we pick on others, we’re acting like chickens. Think about it—chickens have a pecking order. The bigger, stronger chickens have the most power and access to food. Any chicken who’s different or appears weaker is at the bottom…and is mercilessly pecked and denied food to show them their assigned place in the system. If a chicken is injured, even if it’s just a small red spot on its neck, when a big chicken sees that hurt, they jab the sore, making it even larger. This should not be.

Here’s the good news: Jesus turned the pecking order upside down. Jesus is God the Son, and He was willing to give up His place at the top because He loves all of us at the bottom. Philippians 2:6-7 says, “Though he was God…he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being.” Jesus lived among us because God wanted to save us from sin and heal all the brokenness sin causes. He was picked on mercilessly, but He was willing to endure all this pain and sorrow and rejection and injustice—for us. Ultimately, He let Himself be killed on a cross, and then He rose again, triumphant over sin and death, all because He loves all of us—people He created to be different from one another.

Because of Jesus, we don’t have to follow the pecking order anymore. Chickens fight because they think they need to prove their strength and survive. Similarly, humans act out of selfishness and fear, taking others down to try to push ourselves up. But since Jesus humbled Himself to flip the pecking order, we can trust Him with all our needs and fears, and we are free to love our neighbors as ourselves. We can work together and take care of each other. With our differences, we can glorify our good Creator. We can listen to one another and work to set up systems in our communities that reflect the beauty of the differences we have as people who bear God’s image (Genesis 1:27). And we can look forward to the day Jesus, our just God, will return and restore His creation, abolishing the pecking order for good. • A. W. Smith

• How have others picked on you? How have you picked on others? Jesus invites us to come to Him with all our hurts and sins. He forgives our wrongdoing, touches our hurting places with His love, reminds us of what is true about us, and guides us in how to move forward in love. (If you or someone you know is being bullied, who are trusted adults you could reach out to for help?)

For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Galatians 5:14 (NLT)