Is It Really a Duck?

Posted: Friday, November 15, 2013 in Pastoral

You have heard the old adage, “If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck then it is probably a duck.” While this is not an absolute, there is wisdom in the proverbial saying. Appearances aren’t always what they seem, but over time the truth often comes out. There is even a biblical principle concerning such things, “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets heve gone out into the world (1 John 4:1). When we are suspicious, we should be careful to expose the duck!

However, we must also be careful that we don’t see something and/or hear something that is not there. We can bring, and often do bring, a suitcase loaded with presuppositions and opinions into a given circumstance or issue, When we do, we often “presume” things and “assume” things that might not even be there. We can interject our opinions into an issue and see a waddle or hear a quack when there might not even be a duck.

In the church, such things disrupt, and can even destroy, unity in the body. Whether it be the exercise of liberty or agreeing to disagree on things that are not essential for fellowship, the Christian should know that things are sometimes not as they seem to be. We must be careful that we seek to know truth, not presume truth in a given situation. We must not start with “this is a duck” and then look for things that back that up, finding waddles and quacks that might not exist. In a word, we need “spiritual discernment.” Yes, it might be a duck, but for the sake of unity we need to go out of our way to make sure it is a duck, and then act. How often have you found that things are not always as they seem?

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