Here I am sending you out like sheep with wolves all round you; so be as wise as serpents and yet as gentle as doves.
Many years a, a friend of mine said, “Christianity isn’t for wimps”. When the words left his mouth I thought, so true, so true. Being a Christian in the early days of the faith could have cost you your life. But even now, in a nation where being Christian is not a risky move, active Christianity still requires strength.
We are sent into the world to share a word of hope, to be heralds of justice and righteousness, and to question structures that oppress. Yet, the scripture words noted above seem to suggest we should do all of this using an ethic of love, being gentle as doves.
Ahhhh, but did you notice? Wise as serpents precedes gentle as doves in this text. We have to be wise in the ways of the world, wise in the ways of our Lord . . . ; we have to be wise first, and gentle next. Indeed Christianity is not for wimps, but by the grace and power of God, we are not wimps. We are wise ones who can change the world as we are sent and choose to go.