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Is ‘Birds of a Feather Flock Together’ a Biblical Proverb?

We, believers, are part of His body, not divided, not in groups opposing each other, but together. He wants us to live together in community to protect each other and build each other up. God created us for relationship with Him, first and foremost, and then with each other.

GodUpdates Contributor
Updated May 23, 2024
Is ‘Birds of a Feather Flock Together’ a Biblical Proverb?

Scripture offers numerous wise Proverbs to guide our lives, many that we hear throughout Christian and secular circles. 'Birds of a feather flock together' has been repeated for centuries, but where did that phrase come from, and is it in the Bible? Understand the meaning, origin, and Biblical application of this timeless saying.

Bird of a Feather Flock Together: Table of Contents

'Birds of a Feather Flock Together' Proverb Meaning

The expression "birds of a feather flock together" captures the social phenomenon that individuals often find comfort, understanding, and compatibility in the company of others who are similar to them. It implies a tendency for people to seek out and build connections with those who share similar values, attitudes, or experiences.

Origin of 'Birds of a Feather Flock Together' 

“Birds of a feather flock together” is a proverb that goes back hundreds of years. A proverb is a short, pithy, phrase that particularly gives advice or shares a universal truth. A proverb is an aphorism that means people of similar interests, ideas, backgrounds, or characteristics will congregate or hang out with each other.

This proverb in particular was likely coined in the early 1500s by William Turner in his literature of The Rescuing of Romish Fox. However, some believe the phrase may have been coined by Plato. This proverb means that birds of the same variety fly in their own groups only, and when they mingle or fly together with the other group of birds, they do it together.

Birds and animals only wander and live together in their own groups. Birds like doves, sparrows, crows, swans, and many other birds fly and live together within their own groups for safety and companionship, and God wants us to live the same way. Likewise, the figurative meaning also did not escape God.

Is 'Birds of a Feather Flock Together' in the Bible?

As humans, we have knowledge and wisdom and we can choose who we spend time with. People usually make friends with the people of same temperament and aptitude. They like the company of those who are similar in views and who have common interests. While there is no specific scripture in the Bible for this proverb, there are several scriptures that have the same meaning:

Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals” (1 Corinthians 15:33).

I am a companion of all who fear you, of those who keep your precepts (Psalm 119:63).

The partner of a thief hates his own life; he hears the curse, but discloses nothing (Proverbs 29:24).

As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another (Proverbs 27:17).

Do two walk together unless they have agreed to do so? (Amos 3:3).

Examples of Flocking Together

What does flocking together look like in real life? Putting this proverb into practice is important, and finding commonalities within our flocks will make them lasting. Flocking together will typically manifest as forming friendships, but what flocks can we find within Christian communities?

  1. Worship Style: People with similar preferences in worship styles may gravitate toward one another. For instance, individuals who appreciate traditional hymns might find commonality and fellowship in a choir or a traditional worship service, while those who prefer contemporary music may form connections in a modern worship setting.

  2. Small Groups: Within a church, small groups often provide a space for individuals to connect based on shared interests or life stages. Small groups centered around topics like parenting, young adults, or Bible study may attract people who have similar needs or experiences.

  3. Service Ministry: Those who share a passion for specific types of service or outreach may come together in church ministries. For example, individuals with a heart for community outreach might join forces in a local missions group, while those passionate about serving within the church building may connect in areas like hospitality or ushering.

  4. Bible Study Groups: These groups can attract individuals with common interests in studying scripture. Groups focused on specific books of the Bible, theological discussions, or practical applications of faith may bring together people who share a desire for deeper spiritual understanding.

  5. Mission Trips: Participants in church mission trips often share a passion for global outreach. The common goal of serving others in a mission context can create strong bonds among individuals with similar convictions about cross-cultural ministry.

The Need to Flock Together

God designed us for community. He designed us to cultivate deep, meaningful relationships with people we can do life with. God created us for relationship — with Him, first and foremost, and then with each other. The importance of having relationships is displayed all throughout the Bible.

From the beginning: Adam had Eve, Moses had Aaron, David had Jonathan, Ruth had Naomi, and Jesus had Peter and his disciples. Jesus also had God. He even instructed the disciples to journey in pairs, so they wouldn’t have to travel alone.

On the same coin, the need for connection can cause us to interact with others who may not sharpen us but may, instead, drag us away from God’s best. As Christ-followers “the flock” is His body, our church (1 Corinthians 12:12-19). So it is that God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desires” (1 Corinthians 12:18).

We, believers, are part of His body, not divided, not in groups opposing each other, but together. He wants us to live together in community to protect each other and build each other up. The Apostle Paul directed the Galatians to “carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2).

Paul Tripp sums it up in his book, Whiter Than Snow: Meditations on Sin and Mercy,

We weren't created to be independent, autonomous, or self-sufficient. We were made to live in a humble, worshipful, and loving dependency upon God and in a loving and humble interdependency with others. Our lives were designed to be community projects. Yet, the foolishness of sin tells us that we have all that we need within ourselves. So we settle for relationships that never go beneath the casual. We defend ourselves when the people around us point out a weakness or a wrong. We hold our struggles within, not taking advantage of the resources God has given us.

In other words, your flock is made up of the people you willingly choose to spend time with. Be sure they:

Honor God, lift you up, share the same values and morals, motivate you, guide you, look after you, bring value to your life, and, most importantly, fill your heart with joy.

Bible Verses about Togetherness

"And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching" (Hebrews 10:24-25).

"For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them" (Matthew 18:20).

"They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer" (Acts 2:42).

"Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ" (Galatians 6:2).

"And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near" (Hebrews 10:24-25).

"My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you" (John 15:12).

"Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!" (Psalm 133:1).

"Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up" (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10).

"Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing" (1 Thessalonians 5:11).

"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another" (John 13:34).

Photo Credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/Khmel

Heather Riggleman is a believer, wife, mom, author, social media consultant, and full-time writer. She lives in Minden, Nebraska with her kids, high school sweetheart, and three cats who are her entourage around the homestead. She is a former award-winning journalist with over 2,000 articles published. She is full of grace and grit, raw honesty, and truly believes tacos can solve just about any situation. You can find her on GodUpdates, iBelieve, Crosswalk, Hello Darling, Focus On The Family, and in Brio Magazine. Connect with her at www.HeatherRiggleman.com or on Facebook.  


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