Chickens, Rejection, and Pecking Order

I’m not a country girl, so you can understand my shock when I learned from a good friend of mine who raises hens, that chickens will peck a newcomer to death.  As my friend began to explain to me how she had purchased four new hens to add to her group, she said, “Tekoa I wouldn’t dare just try and add one.” I sat there confused.

“Why not?” I asked.

“Because they will peck them to death” she stated, emphatically. “They’ll get up to the new ones and start pecking their beaks and eyeballs, and once they get some blood coming forth, the rest join in a frenzy. There is a pecking order,” she said.

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.  I started realizing how difficult it is to be the new person at school, a new job, in a new family, and other places of social activity.  During my research on this topic, I also discovered that rejection and bullying can cause multiple health issues, neurological disorders, and a host of fears.

Rejection is a word that comes from Latin and means to be “thrown backward.” You’ve heard the cliché, “two steps forward and three steps back.”  It’s the same thing.  You can be rejected due to a weight issue, a birth defect, your race, or even success. You can also be rejected because you are beautiful, intelligent, or unique.  Sometimes rejection is due to fear or jealousy.  One of the worst rejections to experience is one from your very own family or a family you marry into.  Guess who else was rejected by the ones He loved?

“He came to his own people, and even they rejected him.” John 1:11 NLT.

Jesus/Yeshua was rejected by the twelve when he needed them the most.  He had to walk people out of his own hometown because He (The Son of Yahweh) was not able to heal many due to their unbelief.  He was rejected by men who said they would die for Him (Peter) only to deny they ever knew Him.

Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, a well-known trauma researcher, explains; “Research has shown that, under ordinary conditions, many traumatized people, including rape victims, battered women, and abused children, have a fairly good psychosocial adjustment.  However, they do not respond to stress the way other people do.  Under pressure, they may feel (or act) as if they were traumatized all over again.”

Here is the problem: They are thrown backward!

But what is happening to our systematic nervous system when we feel threatened, rejected, and shunned?  Or even worse, what happens when you are being hen pecked to death?  The systematic nervous system or what one site refers to as SNS is worth learning about.

Jurriaan Plesman BA (Psych writes this, “…An overactive SNS is likely to open up blood vessels and flood your face, neck, and ears in blushing.  Other possible symptoms are: dizziness, shaking, trembling, (as when giving a talk in front of people), digestive disorders, swallowing problems, nausea, vomiting, or fear of vomiting or diarrhea, irregular heartbeats, ticks and restless legs, excessive sweating, depersonalization, incontinence, impotence, repetitive thoughts… on and on it goes.  It is obvious that these mental and bodily reactions help to prepare the body for strenuous and quick actions in the face of danger.”

Wow! A lot is going on in our bodies when we are being surrounded by a group of hens fighting for their order.

Perhaps you’ve experienced being the new chicken in the chicken yard a time or two.  I can honestly say it’s not fun.  You can get hen pecked to death and yes, once the blood comes it seems the other chickens do join in.  That’s why parents hate bullies.  No one wants to watch their child get hurt at a new school or neighborhood.  No spouse wants to watch their husband or wife be rejected by their friends or family members.  No young teenager or college student wants to feel like an outcast in the room.  Being a new step mother or father can be difficult. Being a new teacher, a new student, a new employee, can sure stir up the chicken yard.

Remember how the word rejection meant “thrown back?” Well, that’s important, because it has been shown time and again that the more free throws a player misses, the worse he or she will do at the line.  Why?  Because he is so worried about making the shot, so nervous and on edge about the score, team pressure and so forth, that he/she misses it again.  It’s like trying to fit in at a new school, or in a new family, a new job, a new leadership spot, if each time you try and reach out for acceptance you get shunned, eventually it looks too hard to keep trying.  We give up.  Why?  Because we get thrown backward.

Webster defines rejection as to refuse to accept, consider, submit to, take for some purpose, or use.  It goes on to say, to refuse to hear, receive, or admit.”  Rejection is one of the worst feelings a person can feel.

“Psychologist Jessica Witt at Purdue University found that after a series of missed field goal kicks, players perceived the field post to be taller and narrower than before.  However, after a series of successful kicks, athletes reported the post to appear larger than before.” It is easy to witness the power of rejection. The more we encounter rejection, the more we view our efforts as pointless, the less we try, and the farther away our goal seems.  It’s like the four chickens my friend tried to add to the bunch, they just weren’t fitting in.

So I wanted to go farther with this devotional and get to the root as to why people reject others.

“Now Israel loved Joseph more than any of his other sons, because he had been born to him in his old age; and he made an ornate robe for him.  When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of them, they hated him and could not speak a kind word to him.” Genesis 37:3 NIV.  Jealousy…

David said this, “Those who hate me without cause outnumber the hairs on my head.  Many enemies try to destroy me with lies, demanding that I give back what I didn’t steal.”  Psalm 69:4 NLT.   Jesus/Yeshua said the same thing in John 15:24-25, “If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would not have sin; but now they have both seen and hated Me and My Father as well. “But they have done this to fulfill the word that is written in their Law, ‘They hated me “without a cause.” NASB.

Do people hate you without cause?  Do they try and peck you to death?  You’re in good company.

David said, “Ruthless witnesses come forward; they question me on things I know nothing about.”  Psalm 35:11 NIV.

The prophet Isaiah said this about Jesus. “He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief.”  Isaiah 53:3 ESV.

Perhaps you are in a new chicken coop and the players are pecking you to pieces.  Remember they did it to Jesus/Yeshua and Joseph.  Perhaps you are tired of trying to fit in the chicken yard and tired of being thrown backward?

I know a man who also had a chicken problem and now he is famously known all over the world.  Harland David Sanders: Better known as Colonel Sanders of Kentucky Fried Chicken was thrown backward a time or two.  The Colonel had a hard time selling his chicken at first. In fact, his famous secret chicken recipe was rejected 1,009 times before a restaurant accepted it.  Don’t let the chickens peck you to death–chances are you don’t belong in the yard with them.  Birds of a feather flock together, but the mighty eagle, he soars alone.

If you’d like to purchase this devotional for yourself or a friend click here

If this post has blessed you feel free to share.

Blessings!

Tekoa

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