If It Quacks Like a Duck
I loved growing up in the South. We had all of these local sayings, metaphors, and stories that made everyday language and conversations interesting and, well, fun.
My dad was the best at this. He had a way of saying something that just nailed the issue in question. One of his favorite sayings was the following: “If it quacks like a duck, it’s a duck.”
His point was, if something acts like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it has to be a duck. No matter what else you call it, it’s still a duck.
Why is this important?
We live in a world that loves to “rebrand” things. That is, we love to call something by another name and thus, try and change its essence. Instead of paying “taxes,” we’re charged “fees.” Instead of “garbage,” we now have “waste management.”
We do the same thing in our personal lives. The Bible talks a lot about idols and in the time of the Bible’s writing, idols were a real presence and issue. Idols and their temples were in every city. Worshiping an idol had real and concrete actions and consequences.
For us, we’re more subtle in our idolatry. Most of us don’t have large statutes in our homes where we offer daily sacrifices. But we do have idols, as in anything or anyone put in the place rightfully reserved for God.
Here’s a quick test: From what in your life do you seek your blessing? That is, to what do you look to give your life meaning, purpose, and value? From whom or what do you get your values? From what source do you determine right and wrong?
If it’s not God, then it’s an idol.
Idols are sneaky, and without our careful attention, we’ll slowly slide the attention of our lives toward the idol and away from God. When we do this, our lives begin to fray and come undone.
Only God has the gravitational weight to hold our lives together. When you look to anything or anyone else, it’s idolatry.
I know. It doesn’t “feel” like idolatry. It may not “look” like idolatry, but it is. As my dad would say, “If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s a duck.”