Wise and Harmless



Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpentssnakecloseup1, and harmless as doves.
Matthew 10:16 KJVdovecdovecdovec


“Be ye, therefore, wise as serpents.” In Egyptian hieroglyphics, the serpent is a symbol for wisdom. The ancients viewed snakes as shrewd, cunning, smart, keen-minded, prudent, and cautious, using great skill to avoid danger. The word speaks of shrewdness, wariness, having a circumspect perspective. In Colossians 4:5 Paul says, “Walk in wisdom toward them that are outside.” In other words, Christians are to be wise in dealing with the wolves of the world around them. What kind of wisdom? The subtlety, anticipation, sensitivity, cunning, cautiousness, wariness, shrewdness of a serpent.images-3-01

To put it another way, say precisely the right thing at the right time in the right place. It’s a serious attempt, I believe, to discover the best means to achieve the highest goal. As we confront a hostile world, we have to be wise. There is no sense in creating havoc all around us. We know their tempers, that they are anti-Christian, they don’t want our message, so we must be careful in how we approach them. We have to use wisdom. You can say inflammatory things and ignite conflict with every step you take, or you can use discretion.

When the Pharisees and Herodians asked Jesus if we should pay taxes, our Lord could have replied, “Caesar is a rotten, wretched, vile, no-good, debauched, evil sinner, damned to Hell forever.” But He said, “Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God, the things that are God’s.” He didn’t compromise the truth, yet He was wise enough not to say everything that could be said and perpetuate something that wasn’t supposed to happen.

Be wise; find the best way to handle a confrontation or conflict. Be careful. The one who faces a hostile world should avoid offensive situations. Don’t make trouble and wreak havoc. Some people become Christians and immediately get fired from their jobs, and say it’s persecution, but it’s only stupidity. Be careful, be wise.

Secondly, He says, “Be harmless as doves.” I can’t imagine being threatened by an attack from a dove, can you? It seems rather innocuous – the lovely, little, white dove. But there is more than harmlessness. Christians are not to cause harm, create issues and problems. We’re not to be running through the world, fighting back and crushing people, devastating people, and being intrusive, brash, or rude. We’re to be harmless and gentle.images-2-01

More than that, the concept here is purity and innocence. In Song of Solomon 5:2, the husband says to his wife, “My dove, my undefiled.” The dove was a symbol of purity, holiness, and innocence. While we are to be wise, we also are to be pure. When we seek a wiser method in dealing with a problem, we should never compromise the truth.

So it’s a two-fold idea: on the one hand, we don’t fight back, but on the other hand, we don’t compromise truth. But sometimes, we don’t have to say all that could be said in a vitriolic manner. Be wise and shrewd, but do it in a way that doesn’t compromise. Keep your integrity, honesty, and purity. The dove is gentle, pure, uncorrupted, and sincere, in the imagery. Those who represent Christ are not to cause injury or employ trickery or deceit in trying to escape from danger; they are to be wise, pure, and gentle.

In Luke 6:27, Jesus summed it up by saying, “Love your enemies, do good to them who hate you.” He’s saying to maintain your purity, wisdom, harmlessness, show a gentle spirit. In I Corinthians 9:22, Paul said, “I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.” You have to be discreet, but never compromise the truth, so that you maintain your purity. Find that perfect balance between the two.

In I Peter 2:23, when our Lord was reviled, He didn’t revile in return. When He was cursed, He didn’t curse back. When His enemies abused Him on the cross, He forgave them their sin. Such was the gentleness displayed by Jesus. That’s where it all begins.  Source





2 Comments Add yours

  1. As we know Cristina Jesus also got Righteously Angry and He got the whip out when His Father’s House was being used in an unrighteous way and yes He also called the Pharisees a brood of Vipers but said if only they would repent and come to Him, He would care for them, yes He was always motivated by Love and we need to be too and Paul was the same he rebuked when needed too because he knew Satan would get a foothold if he didn’t.

    It is True Cristina as you also shared we do need to be Wise when we Stand up for God’s Truth trusting in His Wisdom not Worldly wisdom as we see confirmed below, not one of us were Born with God’s Wisdom or empowering by The Holy Spirit, (1 Corinthians 2:9-16) we all need them, Jesus told us to Ask, Seek and Knock and when we Ask according to God’s Will we will receive.

    Proverbs 4:7 Wisdom is the Principal thing therefore get Wisdom and with all thy getting get Understanding.

    James 15: If any of you lack Wisdom let him ask of God that giveth to all men liberally and upbraideth not and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

    Colossians 2 :2 -3 That their hearts might be comforted being knit together in Love and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ In whom are hid all the treasures of Wisdom and Knowledge.

    Luke 11:13 If ye then, being evil know how to give good gifts unto your Children how much more shall your Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him?

    1John 2:26-28 These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you. But the anointing which ye have received of Him abideth in you and ye need not that any man Teach you but as the same anointing Teacheth you of all things and is Truth and is no lie and even as it hath Taught you ye shall abide in Him.

    Matthew 10:26-28 Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed and hid that shall not be known. What I tell you in darkness that speak ye in Light and what ye hear in the ear that preach ye upon the housetops (KJV)

    Christian Love Always – Anne.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Cristina says:

    Thank you Anne. Your sharing is a blessing.
    Love in Christ

    Liked by 1 person

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