Harmless as Doves
June 13, 2013
That is the attitude of thought Jesus commanded his disciples to put on as they went into the towns and villages ahead of him. He prefaced that by acknowledging they would be as sheep among wolves, but he constrained them from being wolves themselves. (Matt 10:16) Instead, he told them to be wiser than serpents.
What a combination! The Master was asking them to face intense opposition, possibly even physical danger, with wisdom and harmlessness. Jesus’ own life was the epitome of those two qualities, so he knew it to be possible. And he had thoroughly prepared his students to preach and heal in his name and nature.
He said to them, “He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.” (v. 40) In other words, God Himself is compelling and blessing this work. Therefore, you can expect it to be successful, even under such daunting odds.
There is a corollary here. When God directs you – when you are about your Father’s business – wisdom and harmlessness are sufficient to sustain and protect you. That seems to run counter to how it works in the world. And even Jesus’ crucifixion would seem to say otherwise.
Yet, what really was the outcome of that horrific event at Golgotha? Resurrection, ascension, Pentecost, and Christianity. Ultimately, had Jesus avoided his captors, or if he and his disciples had fought back, possibly injuring or even killing them, what would have happened to his ministry? You and I probably wouldn’t have a clue about it today.
None of us will ever have to go through all that, but his example of wisdom and harmlessness can, nonetheless, serve as an effective and useful armor under all circumstances.
Joy and patience are natural dove-like qualities along with being inoffensive, and likewise not taking offense. Wisdom is thoughtful consideration and right reasoning, knowing when to hold your ground, or when to shake the dust off your feet and move on! Mary Baker Eddy adds, “The serpent of God’s creating is neither subtle nor poisonous, but is a wise idea, charming in its adroitness…” (Science and Health, p. 515) Good qualities to embrace!
Jesus’ disciples finally understood this directive and went on to forward his word and works “into all the world,” overcoming countless obstacles. The book of Acts is full of evidence of this.
Surely, you and I in our day-to-day activities can put on the attitudes of wisdom and harmlessness and bring about a revolution of peace, affection – and progress! Don’t you think that will lead to better productivity and usefulness?
Here’s a verse from a great poem by Mary Baker Eddy called Love: “If thou the bending reed wouldst break by thought or word unkind, pray that his spirit you partake, who loved and healed mankind: Seek holy thoughts and heavenly strain, that make men one in love remain.” You can read the rest of it here.
Melissa Hayden is a Christian Science practitioner in Salem, OR. You can find more information and additional articles at this link. If you like what you read today, considering clicking the “add me” button.