John P. DiMarzio observed the following lesson: “During my early farming days I decided to invest my holdings in poultry. So I started with one hundred cheap chicks ($6.00). Periodically I noticed that one of the chicks would get an open sore. As time went by the sore grew larger, and eventually the chick died from the wound.
Trying to find the cause, I watched the chickens more closely; the outcome was quite revealing. When one chick would get a small scratch, another would peck at it. Then the others would follow suit, and before long it seemed that all the chickens were pecking the one chick’s sore. Each time the victim was pecked the sore grew, and more chickens pecked it. Finally, the innocent chicken, who really needed protection from his peers, died.
Now which chicken was the real assassin? Was it the one who made the first peck at the open wound? Or was it the one who made peck #99 or peck #100? Possibly it was the one that made the final peck before the chick’s demise. In any case, the chick died.
By and by more chickens died of pecking. When winter came, there weren’t enough chickens to huddle together and protect each other. They all died. Those cruel cannibalistic chickens! They didn’t realize as they killed each other that they doomed themselves; in a sense they had signed their own death warrants.
The other day I noticed a brother’s flaw; so I pecked at it. I told others, and they followed suit. As the flaw grew in size through our pecking, many others joined in. Instead of giving our brother a band-aid to cover the wound, we exposed it for the world to see. My brother died.
Who was the assassin? By and by there was more pecking, and more brothers died. Eventually I got cold and needed my brothers’ comfort. They were gone; I died.
Oh, those cruel cannibalistic chickens!”
But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another! (Galatians 5:15).
Tags: chicken, criticism, encouragement