“Listen! I am sending you out just like sheep to a pack of wolves. You must be as cautious as snakes and as gentle as doves” – Matthew 10:16 GNT
One of the many ways Jesus taught was in parables. Sometimes, He told stories in parables to drive home a point, other times, He used analogies to teach. Generally, the sheep is considered one of the meekest animals. Hence, Jesus used it to teach meekness and Christian conduct.
A dove is often used to symbolize peace and holiness and was used to describe the descent of the Holy Spirit. (Matthew 3:16, Mark 1:10). Apostle Paul, in Colossians 3:12, admonishes us “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”
This Christian conduct can be learned from the One who lived a life filled with gentleness. Our ultimate example, Jesus, called himself “gentle and lowly in heart.” (Matthew 11:29). This testimony was proven true in several instances in the Bible.
When Jesus was reviled by His persecutors, He never took vengeance, but trusted in God. He instructed the disciples to do the same (Matthew 5:11-12). Likewise, His response to the situation of the woman caught in adultery describes the type of heart He has (John 8:1-11). A heart that is slow to anger and quick to listen (James 1:19). This type of attitude is worthy of emulation as we go into the world to preach the gospel to all kinds of people.
More so, we must learn to speak to others with grace and respect. Always remember that a gentle answer turns away wrath. (Proverbs 15:1). When we approach people with gentleness and respect, it would be reflected in our speech and the manner with which we give answers when our faith is challenged. (Colossians 4:6, 1 Peter 3:15). Thus, we can win them over by our speech.
Finally, we must live with a heart of compassion. With love, we break the walls of hate and evil built by the world against us. We overcome evil with good (Romans 12:21) and we heap burning coals on the head of the enemy, thus reducing the potency of his hatred (Proverbs 15:1).
We are called to live our lives as gentle as doves and this must be seen in our daily lives. We can overcome the hostility in this world through it.
PRAYER: Father, thank you for the fruits of the Spirit in us. Help us to follow your leading at all times, that the world may see the gentleness in our hearts. By your strength, we are distinguished as true followers of Christ by our conduct. In Jesus name, Amen.
Bible Reading Plan: Jeremiah 23-25