Once upon a time there was a story told of a mother duck. The mother was sitting on her eggs waiting for them to hatch. The day finally came when these eggs hatched, and out came several beautiful young ducklings. The mother realized there was one large egg left. The egg finally hatched and out came what the mother thought was a large ugly duckling. This “ugly duckling” was made fun of by the ducks and animals that he came across. Finally after he could take it no more he decided to go try to hang out with the swans as a last ditch effort. When the “ugly duckling” got close to the swans he was amazed by their reactions, until he looked down into the water and realized that he was no longer “ugly” but had grown into a beautiful swan. As I read this fable I couldn’t help but realize the great lessons that it holds for children of God.
1) Realize the Potential! In the story of the “ugly duckling” the “duckling” was ugly on the outside yet would turn into something beautiful. As Christians if we just look at what someone is now we will miss out on opportunities to evangelize. We must look at the potential that individuals hold to become children of God. The Bible says in Matthew 28:19-20, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” If you remember the story of Saul of Tarsus the individuals in his day didn’t believe that he had the potential to become a child of God’s, yet Jesus did. Saul went from being on the fast track to becoming a powerful Pharisee, and being one of the worst persecutors of his time to being one of the most persecuted Christians of his time. Saul went from being an “ugly duckling” to a beautiful swan (Christian).
2) Nurture the Potential! In the story of the “ugly duckling” the “duckling” wasn’t nurtured and helped, instead the “duckling” was made fun of and treated horribly. As a Christian when we see those that have potential we must not just realize the potential that they hold yet do something about it. We must teach the gospel, and encourage them. The Bible says, “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing” (1 Thessalonians 5:11).
Everyone has the potential to become a child of God. The gospel is for all. What are you doing to help turn the “ugly ducklings” into “beautiful swan”?