Thursday, July 27th, 2017
Name Tags: You Are... (Part 28)
Cunning, But Innocent
Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves.
Matthew 10:16 (NASB)
But be that as it may, I did not burden you. Nevertheless, being crafty, I caught you by cunning!
2 Corinthians 12:16 (NKJV)
I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. Now this I do for the Gospel's sake...
1 Corinthians 9:22-23 (NKJV)
When Christ sent His disciples out alone, He urged them to be shrewd and innocent. His advice might seem contradictory. The first is worldly. The next is godly, but so is a working saint's life on earth. Only in Jesus can these terms mix well.
I believe some of the modern-day church has reinterpreted our Lord's advice. Instead of shrewd, believers can be snide: condemning outsiders with harsh disdain. Instead of innocent, they're unprepared: unskilled in their King's rules of engagement.
Actors, models and talent for Christ: Take a look at one more Bible Verse:
'And his master praised the unrighteous manager because he had acted shrewdly; for the sons of this age are more shrewd in relation to their own kind than the sons of light' (Luke 16:8, NASB).*
So what does all of this mean to you?
1) Your Manager says to be savvy. Learn the entertainment industry and master its qualifications. To get air-time on a world-class field, you must meet or top its reigning stars. Like Daniel, Joseph and Esther did in pagan, idolatrous cultures.
2) Your Prince of Peace never acted snide. 'For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved' (John 3:17, NKJV). Jesus walked among sinners and outcasts.
3) Your Savior says to be innocent. Be innocent of speaking evil. Be innocent of judging others. Be innocent of selfish motives. Be innocent of idolatry. But mostly, safeguard your innocence by loving and following God's Word.
To Be Continued...
* This Verse is from The Parable of the Unrighteous Steward, and It's One of the Lord's most debated Parables--specifically the Verse quoted above.
* Full Parable: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=luke+16%3A1-18&version=NASB
* Various scholarly interpretations of Luke 16:8: http://biblehub.com/commentaries/luke/16-8.htm
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Name Tags: You Are... series.