Jim Burns Homeword Daily Devotional for Parenting and Christian Family

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HomeWord - Jan. 24, 2011

Parable of the Ducks
This devotional was written by Jim Burns
Follow my example as I follow the example of Christ. 
—1 Corinthians 11:1

The great philosopher Søren Kierkegaard told a story about ducks that came from an imaginary country where only ducks live. One Sunday morning, all the mother and father ducks headed to church with their children waddling behind them. They entered the doors and sat in their duck pews, sang songs from their duck hymnals, and gave to underprivileged ducks at the offering time. When the duck preacher got up to proclaim the message, he was very dynamic. He opened his duck Bible and screamed, "Ducks, you can fly! You have wings and you can fly like eagles." The ducks all chanted, "We can fly, we can fly!" He asked, "Do you believe you can fly?" Again, they shouted back, "We can fly, we can fly." He screamed again, "We can soar through the skies!" They all shouted, "Amen." With that the pastor closed his duck Bible and dismissed his congregation of ducks. Then they all waddled back home. 

Just a simple reminder today that while your words are important, they can only go so far. So much of the work of passing on our faith takes place when we model it ourselves. To do that, we must make sure that we are working on the issues in our own lives. If we do not, the message we proclaim to others will be very similar to that of the duck pastor. After he told them they could fly, he needed to show them by spreading his own wings and soaring above the clouds.*

As we live out what we believe in our lives, we can lead the way for others and make a difference for lifetimes to come.


1. What areas of your life do you feel you are most like the ducks in the parable?

2. What steps can you take to begin to "soar" and not just talk about doing so?

3. How might others benefit from your example as you live out the Christian faith in your life?


Philippians 3:17, 1 Timothy 4:12

*Adapted from Jim Burns' book, Confident Parenting, Bethany House Publishers 

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