“A wise [person] recognizes when [their] life is out of balance and summons the courage to act to correct it.” -Suze Norman
Balance. An integral part of living. Life tends to throw many curve balls at us, and we have to be prepared for whatever may come, especially as Christians and especially in these crazy days we live in.
Jesus knew this and spoke to his disciples that He would send them out to minister and to tell others about Him, but that their sending out would be like sheep going out amongst wolves. They were therefore instructed to be “wise (or shrewd) as serpents, and innocent (or harmless/gentle) as doves. What an interesting balance this was that Jesus told His followers to find. When you look a little deeper into what He said, the picture becomes a bit clearer.
Says Joseph Benson, in his commentary on this scripture…”On the one hand, be so prudent as not to irritate the wicked, and those who shall oppose you, either by your behaviour or your doctrine, unnecessarily, and avoid all unnecessary dangers: and harmless as doves — On the other hand, let not your prudence degenerate into craft, lest it lead you to betray the truth, or to encourage or countenance men in their evil practices; maintain at all times a holy simplicity of soul; and to your prudence join a harmless and inoffensive behaviour, rendering yourselves remarkable for integrity amid the greatest temptations, and for meekness amid the greatest provocations.”
Another commentator says “Wonderful combination this! Alone, the wisdom of the serpent is mere cunning, and the harmlessness of the dove little better than weakness: but in combination, the wisdom of the serpent would save them from unnecessary exposure to danger; the harmlessness of the dove, from sinful expedients to escape it. In the apostolic age of Christianity, how harmoniously were these qualities displayed! Instead of the fanatical thirst for martyrdom, to which a later age gave birth, there was a manly combination of unflinching zeal and calm discretion, before which nothing was able to stand. (Jamieson-Fausset)
How desperately do we need this harmonious marriage of “unflinching zeal and calm discretion” in these last days!
-The Serpent and the Dove
A note from the editor:
The Serpent and the Dove is a blog that was started as a way to navigate the crazy world that lay before me as I took on the roles of woman, wife, mother, pastor’s wife, friend, business woman and blogger. I quickly came to the realization that as I was required to wear many different hats and take on many different roles, that I didn’t always have the wisdom to carry out these tasks. There were other times I perhaps did have the wisdom but lacked the gentleness and innocence of being led and filled by the Holy Spirit. This blog seeks to lay out articles, ideas, and thoughts on achieving this balance of wisdom and gentleness in our personal lives as Christians.
One of the key women in the Bible that I look up to is Abigail. She possessed a keen ability to demonstrate her practical gift of wisdom and discernment alongside a gentle spirit, and thus doing saved her life and enabled her to enter into her destiny of becoming the wife of David, the king.
My desire is that I would be an Abigail in my generation. Acting and speaking with wisdom and gentleness and in so doing, pointing others to Christ.
“Balance provides the chance for longevity” -Tony Dungy.
If Jesus should tarry, we are going to need some balance and longevity along with some practical discernment for every day issues. The Serpent and the Dove features articles and posts written by a variety of contributors from working mothers to seasoned pastors, each selected for their unique perspective on living with Christian wisdom in a crazy world. Follow along as we share our stories!