"I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves." - Matthew 10:16 NIV
We didn't watch much TV growing up, but I remember Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom. Marlin Perkins would narrate and show film of animals and their behavior in their natural habitat. Unfortunately, we quickly discovered, the natural world is a dangerous place, there are prey and predators, and the result for the prey usually isn't good.
In Matthew 10, Jesus is preparing his disciples for their first solo mission trip. He desired them to be ready for every situation. They would encounter predators, the wolves who sought to destroy them. They were to be alert and wary, yet at the same time show compassion and the love of Christ they experienced.
The message still holds today. If anything, there are more predators today seeking to kill the message of Christ. You need only pick up a newspaper, turn on your radio or TV, or check social media to know this is true. To think otherwise would be naive. However, in the face of all the hatred and violence, it is even more essential for us to demonstrate kindness and share the hope found in Jesus Christ.
God, we give you thanks for the message of hope. Give us the wisdom and courage to stand against what is wrong, and help us share your compassion and love with our neighbors, even those who would abuse and destroy us. We pray this in the mighty name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.