Updated: Oct 2, 2020
I heard about some bad behaving parrots this week on the news. So I looked it up, and sure enough, these five birds were causing some real havoc. I took the segment below from the New York Times.
“LONDON — When Steve Nichols, the chief executive of the Lincolnshire Wildlife Park, heard employees loudly swearing in the next room, he went over to tell them off. But there were no employees in the next room. Just the birds. He then realized that five parrots who moved to the park in the same week shared an unfortunate trait: They all had filthy, filthy mouths.
With more colourful language than plumage, the African grey parrots — Billy, Elsie, Eric, Jade and Tyson — used different curse words in different British accents, but they were all unprintably coarse. At one point, a group of women walking past the aviary thought the lewd comments shouted at them were from a hidden staff member, Mr. Nichols said.
The park had no complaints — in fact, visitors reveled in swearing right back at the birds — but the park officials feared children and parents might not enjoy the experience as much, he said. The chirpy birds were moved into a temporary space away from the public eye, giving them time to be around more family-friendly birds and hopefully clean up their vocabulary.”
Poor zoo keepers! Well, as my Mom used to say, “truth is stranger than fiction.” I got a little chuckle out of this but, more importantly, it really struck home the importance of our environment. 1 Corinthians 15:33 (ESV) states, “Do not be deceived, bad company ruins good morals.” In the Wisdom of Solomon he says, “One who is righteous is a guide to his neighbours, but the way of the wicked leads them astray" (Proverbs 12:26 (ESV)). As followers of Christ, we need to be discerning, where possible, about the ongoing influences we open ourselves up to. Sometimes this becomes difficult because of things out of our control. Hopefully, as the “salt and light,” we can bring an influence that will eventually change that environment. “And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” (Colossians 3:17 (ESV)).
It also spoke to me about the importance of speech as a Christian. As the Psalmist declares, “Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth, keep watch over the door of my lips" (Psalm 141:3 (ESV)). Ephesians 5:4 (ESV) says, “Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving.” As Tuesday’s reflection reminds us, our speech should flow from our “New Nature” not our “Old Fallen Nature” that does not reflect Christ: “the tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouths of fools pour out folly” (Proverbs 15:2 (ESV)). The Apostle James reminds us how powerful the tongue is (James 3:1 ff).
So next time you are in a pet shop and thinking about buying a parrot, you had better check out his/her vocabulary first (LOL)! You might be in for a few surprises!
Hang in, my friends, and have a good day. Remember, when we do blow it speech wise, ask for forgiveness and move on. Don’t be discouraged, that is what Satan wants! May our daily desire be that of the Psalmist long ago, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer” (Psalm 19:14 (ESV)). God bless you, my fellow pilgrim. Remember, He loves you! Pastor Ralph