Innocent as Doves

“You must listen to all my instructions carefully because you are like sheep entering a land of many wolves. Prove yourself to be wise as serpents and INNOCENT as doves” - Jesus Christ [Matthew 10:16]

When teaching his followers how to conduct themselves in the world, Christ used this simile contrasting sheep from wolves and serpents from doves.

Sheep are kind, trusting animals - they have hearty appetites and needs, but unlike wolves, sheep don’t hurt others to satisfy their wants.

Serpents aren’t our role models... as they’re skillful in the use of guile.

#Doves symbolize peace and good will. Doves are guileless.

Christ did not teach his followers to adapt ALL the serpents characteristics to handle situations. However, Christ said the serpent’s ‘wisdom’ was crucial to adapt - and that his followers should acutely listen and accurately practice Christ’s teachings.

We learned that the word translated ‘wise’ means: having keen / sharp mental discernment, good judgement; to be observant / watchful and intentional in our actions.

In a world where guile is rampant, Christ instructed people to develop excellent discernment, speak with honesty, accountability and act with guileless intention.

Despite having needs and desires, those who carefully listen to his instructions are taught how to balance having their needs met with openly doing things to others’ benefit and never secretly at others’ expense.

The saying: “People are to be loved and things are to be used” (and not the converse, applies here...)

That’s a lesson worth learning which would make life and relationships in this world less of a jungle!

- Anothen