I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.
Over the last few months, Americans have had to endure an extraordinarily divisive impeachment process, a disease sent to us from a careless country, and riots in our major cities. In few periods of our national history has so much turmoil been evident.
People are fleeing our major cities, because of weak and ineffective governmental authorities. Whose only reply is to blame us and not listen to why the exodus is happening. Congress leaves town with millions of Americans unemployed and no solution for the future. Divisiveness is so rampant families are turning on each other. Our national media reports only the salacious, despite the cry for objective journalism. Our sports leagues have taken up political stances because they are fashionable and are suffering a backlash causing millions to tune out.
In our nation, all seems like a chapter out of Alice in Wonderland. Domestic terrorists are desiring to defund the police and our civil authorities are complying. Despite the cry from eighty percent of all Americans to not only not do this, but to add more. The approval ratings of our Congress is at a historical low, below twenty percent. Yet Congress will not hear the cry to behave.
I hear and see other things in America, that reflect the real values of everyday Americans. I see first responders saving lives. I see our trained police professionally comforting those in distress. I see people rescue others, despite their own peril. I see a country whose people will be the first to lend a hand when other countries need help. I see people going to Haiti after a horrendous earthquake. Time and again American’s help out those in need.
I also see most Americans defying how they are portrayed in the national media. I have seen the deplorables in distant rural valleys helping veterans. I am seeing the historic effort by our country to develop a vaccine to rid a disease that is threatening the world’s health. This is the real America, not the one shown by our national media or the anarchists who want us to believe differently.
I am sure Jesus is seeing this as well. Jesus doesn’t want divisiveness. More importantly, Jesus doesn’t want us to listen to those who seek to divide. Rather, Jesus wants us to be wary of these wolves. Jesus has given us wise advice when we encounter these who seek our destruction. To be shrewd and innocent. In other words, know the wolves and be careful. And at the same time, retain our Christian values and don’t meet evil with evil.
Paul further explains this advice when he wrote to us two millenniums ago and said; I urge you, brothers and sisters, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. (Romans 16:17) Another wise piece of Christian advice from the Bible.
Make no doubt about what is going on. The wolves have arrived and want all of us to be in despair. They want us to think less of our neighbors and to believe they are the real voice. They say they are here to help, but look closely. They throw stones, loot, and set fires. These are the wolves Jesus is telling us about.
The wolves want us to believe we want less police. Imagine that, the voice of evil wants us to have less police. And we see what that has brought, in the last few weeks, there has been an acceleration in the death of black lives. The very lives these wolves tell us they are protecting. This is where being shrewd comes in. As Americans, we will answer any call for help it is our national ethos. In turn, the wolves are using this knowledge and taking advantage of us.
At the same time, Jesus wants us to be innocent as doves. Simply, don’t fight evil with evil. We are to build up and not seek to destroy. Our goal should be to continue to be beacons of goodness. To help our neighbors even more than ever. To act quickly to aid the less fortunate. To lend an ear to those who need to be heard.
There will always be wolves. They existed two thousand years ago, and they will exist two thousand years from now. Instead of listening to those who seek to divide, we should listen to Jesus’s advice. We should listen to the very many American voices who don’t want inane thoughts like defunding the police.
We are a great nation. We will always be the first to send help when other lands suffer disaster. We will always be a nation that sends its doctors to stamp out diseases in faraway lands. When typhoons hit, our relief agencies will be some of the first on the ground.
And we are also a people that strive to fix our wrongs. The vast majority of Americans believe in fixing injustice. They will always bend down to lift up the weak. We will always defend the helpless.
All Jesus asks, avoid the wolves and to always continue to good. Jesus doesn’t want us to engage with the wolves. The only real harm they can do is to divide us.
Dr. Bruce L Hartman, a former Fortune 500 CFO, is the author of Jesus & Co., Your Faith Has Made You Well and Spend A Year With Jesus. Dr. Hartman’s website, www.brucelhartman.com., contains inspirational messages, podcasts and videos to help Christians in their daily lives.
After a successful career in the business world, Dr. Hartman obtained his Doctorate in Ministry. He is now an active Christian writer; both in writing books and a frequent contributor of Christian articles. Dr. Hartman is a regular guest on Christian radio throughout the nation.