Jesus said to his Apostles, “behold, I am sending you like sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and simple as doves.” Matthew 10:16
It’s rare for a Christian to balance their serpent and dove sides. Most lean either or. You have heard the phrase, “he got all chewed up.” That’s not about serpents. Serpents are good at preventing attack (from wolves for the parable’s sake.) They stay close to a solid mass like the ground or a tree. Hey Christians, solid mass is God. If threatened they first try to sneak away but if attack in unavoidable they are not afraid to fight the good fight. Doves by contrast make noise (coo) and are often sunning themselves out in the open. Perfect targets. Their strength however is their gentleness and graceful flight.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know there are wolves out here in cyber land. They wait in the shadows for an innocent teenager or adult to post too freely or personally and pounce at the opportunity to harass or lure into evil, pornography and drug dealing come to mind. These wolves also look for material to steal for their own agenda or to use against the person posting. “You put it online so it’s fair game” goes the excuse. I love the word, game. Sounds like food to me.
Christians who haven’t balanced their serpent with their dove tend to be sneakily aggressive (snake) or gently weak (dove). The serpents are vigilantes, the power people who are often tempted to relish their power. It’s too bad. If these had more dove in their lives they would be able to protect those who are gentler rather then throwing them to the wolves by chasing them away. Jesus called for balance for a reason.
Jesus was the ultimate super dove and a super snake. He blended into a crowd when danger was near. He traveled were wolves didn’t congregate in order to rest in safety. He stayed in a group and only sent members of that group out in pairs, never alone. Only Judas went out alone and we know what happened to him. When an attack was imminent He stood His ground and stared down the enemy. Then walked away in safety after disarming them. Even when He finally let His guard down and allowed Himself to be caught because it was His time He allowed those close Him to be with Him. He was always in a group to His last breath. Why? He wanted them to experience His great love for them, gentle dove to the end.
So you doves out there be snake enough to be aware. Take precautions to protect yourself. Stay in a group and don’t be afraid to stare down the enemy. At the same time love and exercise your wings frequently so that they become stronger. You snake types. Allow more dove into your life so you can love better. The dove types will show you the way of compassion. When we give balance to one another, we put balance into our selves. The end result is a stronger unit, one that wolves cannot bite into.
Picture is from my front yard, 2015.