“Wise people quietly make their way through life empowering others with the right use of knowledge to not harm but help.”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – August 17, 2022
Behold, I am sending you out like sheep in the midst of wolves; be wary and wise as serpents, and be innocent (harmless, guileless, and without falsity) as doves. Matthew 10:16, AMPC
Jesus clearly defines the job description of His disciples. Be street smart, wise with an innocent, harmless spirit. Wisdom is a gift from life experience mingled with God’s truth to help another along life’s journey. Innocence is a humble, kind and harmless approach to sharing wisdom and life lessons learned from mistakes and successes over years of faithfulness. Wise people quietly make their way through life empowering others with the right use of knowledge to not harm but help. Just as a responsible parent doesn’t give sharp objects to a child, the Lord only imparts His wisdom to those who use wisdom to build up others to set them free, not to tear down or control.
Christ commissions His followers with the warning that they are His sheep who will be in the middle of dangerous, mean wolves. In the world, but not of the world. And their posture toward wolves is not to respond back with intimidation and fear, but to defy them with the kindness and prudence of a harmless heart, innocent motives, discerning spirit and wise mind. The serpent known for his shrewdness is a model for children of the light to learn from the children of the darkness, as Jesus taught in the parable of the shrewd manager (Luke 16:1-8). Be discerning of others with the wisdom of God as your filter, with a dove like demeanor of peace and gentleness.
“Brothers and sisters, don’t think like children. Be innocent of malice but mature in understanding” (1 Corinthians 14:30).
There is a naiveté that sometimes causes to stumble otherwise genuine followers of Jesus. The attitude of trust without verifying or saying yes without first checking references or vetting an opportunity. Wisdom first asks “why.” Why do you want to pursue this opportunity? If only to move away from difficulty or out of fear of losing something, may not be the best reasons. The best “why” is validation from those who love you and know you, accompanied by a peace that may not make sense in the short term. Wisdom and innocence do not suffer fools or waste time.
Most of all, when you are in a position and place of influence wisely and without harm use your authority to live out and speak about Jesus Christ. As you are generous with your time, money and relationships, those around you will ask “why.” You will be able to share in a winsome way how the love of God captures your heart and gives you grace and purpose to live a life of love. As you seek to lift up and build up family, friends and colleagues, you can with a humble spirit share how the grace of God lifts you up and builds you up to be a blessing to others. Wisdom protects you from foolishness and fools. Innocence gives wisdom access and influence.
“After all, you think you are so wise, but you enjoy putting up with fools! You put up with it when someone enslaves you, takes everything you have, takes advantage of you, takes control of everything, and slaps you in the face” (2 Corinthians 11:19-20).
Heavenly Father, by your Spirit may I walk in your wisdom with a pure heart, through Christ’s love and in Jesus’ name, amen.
What person or circumstance may be intimidating me from being me? What does it look like for me to confront their intimidation and my fears?
Romans 16:19; 1 Corinthians 2:6, 14:20; 2 Corinthians 7:11; James 1:17
John Michael Talbot: Wisdom
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