Have you ever wondered what wisdom and snakes have in common? Snakes usually have a negative connotation, and even in scripture, they are rarely referenced in a positive way.
Where this command is found:
“Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.”
Have you ever thought of what snakes and doves have in common? In Matthew 10:16, Jesus gives us the command Be Wise as Serpents, Harmless as Doves. In this passage, He refers to the God-given characteristics of the snake and the dove. By understanding these amazing traits, they can help us in fulfilling this command.
In the world in which we live, many hate God’s Word and even desire to attack those who share it. This is where we can apply this command and learn from God’s creation. The snake is wise and often avoids conflicts while the dove is harmless and gentle. We need God to give us both His wisdom and gentleness to rightly respond to those who malign us for righteousness sake.
But, if we fail to learn to respond in this Christ-like manner, the results can be catastrophic! Not only will it bring harm to ourselves, but we may also lose future opportunities to share the love of Jesus with those that were negatively impacted by our wrong response. It is by humility and total dependence upon God and His Word that the lost will see Jesus exhibited in our responses. This can be the very catalyst that Christ uses to draw them to Himself.
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How do we live as “sheep among wolves” and respond to people like harmless doves?
Our human tendency is to fight “fire with fire.” But in God’s kingdom, this is not how things are to work.
From Gideon to Moses to Stephen to Paul, the Bible is filled with examples of the concept of “wise as serpents, harmless as doves.”