Do you know the saying “Kids say the darnest things”? Well, I think mothers say the most precious things.
“Be wise as a serpent and harmless as a dove”.
These are the words my Mother told me almost every day as I left for school. I treasured those words and took heed to them, as she hoped. Many years later, today, I am realizing, how rich and powerful those words were and still are. The origin of these words are: Matthew 10:16 which says “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents and harmless as doves.” In this passage, Jesus was speaking to his Disciples as he prepared them to preach to the world, giving them spiritual advice. He is actually teaching them to be like Him. My understanding is that the word “wise” in this context has more to do with being shrewd (sharp, smart), someone who plans carefully, strategizing in such a way to get his mission accomplished and at the same time not ruining his testimony (be also harmless as doves).
My mother never knew what each day would bring forth, as we as children stepped out to embrace each day, hoping to return home safely. She knew however, that the world was a dangerous place and people could be mean, she also knew that we could be negatively influenced by people who did not have our best interest at heart. By repeating this statement to us daily, she sought to amplify the scriptures in such a way that it became memorable, almost as if it was written on our foreheads. As a result, I was constantly reminded to choose wisely.
Application: If we ought to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves, it means that we need to think carefully before making decisions, even before we speak. We should seek to make sure that our decisions do not cause us to inflict harm on ourselves and others.
Look out for more lessons from my mom……I am sure you have learnt many lessons from your mom as well. Feel free to share as a comment.