“See I am sending you out like sheep
in the midst of wolves;
so be wise as serpents
and as innocent as doves.”
–Jesus (Matthew 10:16)
Creating a flow:
When I used to play ball in school the coach would always have one complaint about our team. He’d always say our biggest problem was not our competition but ourselves. After games we lost to teams that were a fraction as good as, he’d bark, “you guy’s problem is that you play to the level of your competition!” In other words as good as we were, we’d always let the other team dictate how good we were going to perform.
This is a principle that many of us carry into real life. As often as the bible reminds us of our worth, value, and calling, we always tend to live to the level of those around us. We don’t recognize that our identity and calling is suppose to flow into our actions in everyday life. If it’s normal to cheat, curse, be harsh, critical, make fun of, or be unfair in the circles we are in, then there is this itch that burns inside us to join right on in. Even at church, if gossip, down casting, judgmental attitudes, racism, classism, sexism, and other unChrist-like activity is frequently practiced we tend to jump right on in. Yes in life we tend to “play to the level” of those around us.
Jesus in this passage tell’s his disciples that the playing field they are going into is cut-throat! They were sent into the “midst of wolves.” So they were going to be surrounded by ravenous, selfish, blood hungry, back-biting, animals. But He never told them to be like these wolves! No He told them to be as “wise” as serpents and as “innocent” as doves. In other words, the disciples were to be aware of all the workings around them, to be sharp, smart, capable of holding their own in the world they are in, but not to use the tactics of that world to reach the result they are looking for! No, they were to never ”play to the level’ of those around them. As an extension of the disciples, we are to live, act, and thrive on the standards of God! To love not hate, to be light not darkness, to be salt not bland.
We don’t have to look very far to find a great example of this sort of Christian life. In a time when people were living contently in darkness, Martin Luther King Jr. makes this statement about true living, “I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality…I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.”
He was not content with just “going with the flow.” NO! He heard God calling him to Create a flow! He believed that people could do better then their current situation. He had faith that God made us for something more then what we had been doing. Then he FOLLOWED THROUGH!
You and I are called to not just “go with the flow” of a darkened, ravenous world. We must work on being light in every situation; being salt among the bland brokenness; to CREATE A FLOW, not just follow one! Let us raise the living level so that others are challenged to be better in a world that celebrates low standards!