2749 Innocent as Doves
Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. Matt. 10:16 ESV
One of the images of the Holy Spirit in Scripture is that of a dove. Doves are generally symbols of peace and reconciliation. Here, in Jesus’ simile, they represent innocence. Because He sent out His followers “amidst the wolves”, they had to be wise, careful in their words and deeds. A serpent knows how to avoid danger, doesn’t it? The disciples also had to be innocent, sincere and authentic. The word the Bible uses is “unmixed”, in other words unadulterated, pure. Of such purity and innocence doves are a symbol.
Jesus sends us out as well. We also must be wise in the process. We must carefully discern who will hear our message and in what way because not all are at the point of accepting Jesus. We want our testimony to draw others closer to God, not push them away! Above all, we must remain true and sincere. People do not expect perfection from us, but they do expect sincerity and honesty. Be a true friend, therefore, a true human being, a true child of God. Let the Holy Spirit guide you in your engagement with others.
Heavenly Father, make me sincere, innocent, open. Keep my heart pure, my motives true. I want to live openly and honestly, without falseness or pretence. Guide me to approach others in the right way: in love but also in truth. In Jesus’ Name, amen.
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