Wise as serpents

My husband coaches some children at golf. He has to do with different personalities and mentioned that of the boys is very street wise and is always looking to take a shortcut. If he can find a way to avoid work, he will. I was reminded of a Bible verse.

Matthew 10:16, Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.

It’s always been a bit puzzling to me so I decided to think about it. Jesus was telling His disciples that He was sending them out as sheep among wolves. If a sheep is sent into a field where there are wolves and there’s no one to defend it, the wolves are going to tear it to pieces. That is a fact. Sheep are docile and have no means whatsoever of protecting themselves. Wolves are predators and very dangerous. The serpent in the Garden of Eden was very crafty and set out to mislead and deceive Adam and Eve. Even though Jesus says be as wise as a serpent He didn’t mean for us to deceive people. We have to be wide awake against deception and manipulation. When we go out into the world among people who are not Christians, but also hostile towards Christians. If you just see how Christian principles are being put under fire it is clear. There are people who are out to undermine Christian beliefs and laws. Bible reading and prayer are taken out of schools. People get upset when the name of Jesus is used or crosses are displayed. Christian holy days are removed as public holidays. Christians are actively persecuted. People are led to believe that things which were sins just a few years ago, are not only tolerated, but said to be totally acceptable. If Christians say anything against these things, they are made out to be intolerant and bigoted.

So when we go out into the world we have to be prudent and wise. We cannot be naïve and just accept things that people say. We have to be so aware and knowledgeable regarding the Word that we cannot be misled. We also have to be able to speak the language of the world so that people will understand us. If we are speaking ‘amens’ and ‘hallelujahs’ people aren’t going to understand us properly. I don’t mean that we must use foul language if that is what the people we associate with are using. But they must be able to identify with us.

Romans 16:19-20, For your obedience has become known to all. Therefore I am glad on your behalf; but I want you to be wise in what is good, and simple concerning evil. And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly.

We must be able to live scrupulously clean lives. Lives that shine with the glory of God. We have to stand out as being honest, but we must not be unaware of the pitfalls and traps of this world. We have to pray and ask God to give us the strategies whereby we have to run our lives and our businesses. We aren’t destined to be poor because we are Christians.

Proverbs 13:22, A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children,

But the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous.

Deuteronomy 15:6, For the Lord your God will bless you just as He promised you; you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow; you shall reign over many nations, but they shall not reign over you.

Deuteronomy 28:12, The Lord will open to you His good treasure, the heavens, to give the rain to your land in its season, and to bless all the work of your hand. You shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow.

I really don’t think God would have put those verses into the Bible if he didn’t mean them to be for us. Why aren’t all Christians millionaires? I don’t know but I’ll definitely put it out there when I find out. Whether we run a business or work for a salary, we are to be innocent of evil, in other words, we have to conduct our finances honestly. We have to pray for wisdom to make good business deals and to make money so that we can finance the Kingdom. We also have to pray for the Holy Spirit to show us how to spread the Gospel in our everyday life and in our business dealings. We might be in the world but we definitely aren’t of the world. We are children of the King and as such we are royalty. Even if we are rich, life isn’t going to be without its challenges, but we are going to have the peace that passes all understanding.



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