Millions of Americans will enjoy turkey on their Thanksgiving tables tomorrow. But how many of those people know that a wild turkey can run 25 miles per hour or fly at speeds of 55 miles per hour? How many know that tame turkeys don’t have the same capabilities and some can’t even fly? Do you think many people know a tom turkey is a male or that a hen is a female? Or that a young male is a jake and a young female is a jenny?
Even the origins of the name turkey would be a mystery to a lot of people. The bird was actually named after the country of Turkey. Europeans were used to trading with merchants from Turkey. One of the items these Turkey merchants would trade with the Europeans were Guinea fowl which became knows as turkey fowl. As Europeans made their way to the New World, they came into contact with a bird they mistakenly believed to be the same kind of bird, and the name turkey stuck.
Of course, not all countries call these birds turkeys. The Portuguese know them as peru. Greeks call them french birds. Some more creative names given to turkeys are fire chickens and seven-faced birds.
So, without a case of mistaken identity we might be gathering around the Thanksgiving table to enjoy a juicy fire chicken!
Mistaking one bird for another is not a big deal, but for Christians being mistaken for something we aren’t can be a big deal. To be a Christian means we are followers of Christ. Scripture tells us we are to be like Christ to those around us. God wants our actions and beliefs to look so much like the way Jesus lived that others see the difference and want to know about Him.
This is a great way for others to see how much God loves them. The problem comes when our actions don’t match with what we say we believe about God. When we live our way instead of God’s way, we start to look like the rest of the world. Living like the rest of the world creates a case of mistaken identity. People believe we belong to the world instead of God, and our lives don’t encourage them to find out more about Him.
Maybe you feel like you’re just a kid. It can’t be that big a deal to have others think you belong to the world instead of God. You have plenty of time to live God’s way after you grow up. But that isn’t what God’s word says. Proverbs 20:11 says, “Even a child is known by his actions, by whether his conduct is pure and right.” Everyone who has accepted God’s gift of forgiveness should be known for living the way God wants them to live. No matter your age, God wants us to live in ways that keep us from having a mistaken identity.
Prayer Thought: Thank God for allowing you to show others His love. Ask Him to help you learn how to live in ways that show you belong to Him.
Nature Moment: Mistaken identities in food can be fun. Try this recipe from tasteofhome.com for fake sushi, and share it with your family and friends. Melt four cups of miniature marshmallows and 1/4 cup of cubed butter in the microwave. Be sure to stir after each minute. Add in 5 cups of crisp rice cereal. Stir until all cereal is covered in the marshmallow mixture. Unroll 10 Fruit Roll-ups, leaving them on their papers. Cut 10 pieces of multi-colored licorice lengthwise into thin strips. Place about 1/2 cup of the cereal mixture on the edge of each roll-up. Place licorice in the center of the mixture. Roll up “sushi” rolls to 1 inch diameter. Discard paper. Trim edged of rolls and cut each into four pieces.