Be a Mockingbird!
Ephesians 5:1- “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children.”
Mockingbirds are probably one of the most well-known birds, but probably one of the least very well-known birds. There are songs, movies, and lullabies all named after this song-filled animal, but most people are not familiar with many of the details that make the Mockingbird special. Their name, for instance, Mimus polyglottos , means ‘Many-Tongued Mimic’ when translated from the Latin.
The majority of common birds learn one type of sound or ‘song’ when they are young. They learn this song from their parents, and it is what they use for the rest of their life. The Mockingbird, however, does not stop learning after one song. It continuously hears, memorizes, and repeats new sounds throughout its entire life. Not only do they mimic other bird sounds, but they’ve been known to imitate frogs, cats, dogs, and even car alarms. I personally have mistaken a single mockingbird for a group of what I thought was a dozen different birds in my front yard. They truly excel at the thing they are known best for, imitating.
In a sense, we could all stand to be a bit more like Mockingbirds. Not in every sense, of course, because not everything we hear is worth being repeated. We must cautiously discern words and actions to determine what is worth our imitation. We are, thankfully, not left to ourselves in this task. The apostle Paul makes it simple, imitate God. (Do not confuse my use of the word ‘simple’ with the word ‘easy’, here. Imitating God is a simple thing, but it is as far from an easy thing as one can get.) To my account, there are three things we should do to help us be an imitator of God: hear His words, memorize them, and repeat them.
To hear Gods words, we must be willing to listen. Unlike the mockingbird, we can hear our Father in heaven through many outlets. He may, and often does, speak to us through His word. Maybe He chooses to speak through another person. Or, perhaps, He simply impresses His voice upon our heart. If we limit God’s voice to our ears, we should find that we may hear Him less. We must instead learn to listen in many ways. “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” John 10:27
After we hear, we must memorize. What good is a song to a bird if he forgets it? Likewise, what good is a word from God if we do not remember what He said? Hide His words in your heart; treat them like the wonderous gifts they are. “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” Joshua 1:8
Finally, repeat God’s word. Do not conceal the truth of God. Rather shine it like a light. Share what has been shared with you. That may mean introducing a non-believer to the gospel, confronting a believer about sin, or maybe simply sharing a bible verse with a friend in need of peace. The point is, God’s word works best when it is used, when it is repeated, when it is imitated. “ But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” James 1:22
Hear, memorize, and repeat. Be a mockingbird of God’s word. Be an imitator of the Almighty.