“Therefore, be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.” Matthew 10:16b NKJV
One of the many recurring attributes of a believer is predictability. It means that in any given situation or event, a believer’s response is almost certain. However, what about when your newly sprayed car is hit by a reckless driver, or your colleagues conspire against you, family members demean you? In these scenarios, will the believer’s response be naturally predictable still?
Is it possible for unbelievers who observe these scenarios to easily conclude that the believer would react differently? Mind you, these are very provoking instances and naturally, a proportionate reaction will be expected.
As provoking as the above scenarios are, a believer now operates on a higher standard. In other words, what may be a natural proportionate reaction which may be applauded by the rest of the world can no longer push or appeal to a believer.
In our anchor text, Jesus instructs that we should exhibit conducts that are consistent with our nature as believers. Dove as used in the text typifies a holy, gentle and peaceful disposition. This means that we must live a holy, innocent, and blameless life.
Apostle Peter reiterates this point in 1 Peter 2:12 where he admonishes that you conduct yourself in such a way that even unbelievers who will naturally accuse you of “being extra”, will be influenced ultimately by your conduct.”
Christian conduct can be demonstrated in several ways and one way is by living an honourable life. This was the testimony of Daniel serving as a believer in a secular government. He distinguished himself to such an extent that no error was found in him nor anything held against him. (Daniel 6:3-5). Let this be your testimony as well.
A believer’s conduct can also be displayed in conversations and interactions. Your words must be laced with grace and respect. It must not seek to demean, debase and cancel others. Always remember that a gentle answer turns away wrath. (Proverbs 15:1, Colossians 4:6, 1 Peter 3:15).
When our approach to people is with gentleness and respect, it would be reflected in our speech and in the manner with which we give answers when our faith is challenged. This, in turn, wins our favour in this hostile world.
A believer must display compassion. Love is a very effective tool; we break the walls of hate and evil that are meted against us through our display of love. As Apostle Paul instructs, “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 hate.
You have been called to influence this world through your words and conduct. Let that consciousness continue to stir in your hearts. Jesus is counting on you.
Bible Reading Plan: Psalms 31, 34, 52