Matthew 10:16-20 NIVUK
16 ‘I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves. 17 Be on your guard; you will be handed over to the local councils and be flogged in the synagogues. 18 On my account you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles. 19 But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, 20 for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.
Life, even as a Christian, isn’t always plain sailing. We will all experience trouble in our relationships with others for all sorts of reasons, even our faith. How do we respond in such occasions? Jesus says be like snakes and doves. Be streetwise not naive, like snakes, aware that people aren’t always good and trustworthy. Don’t let them just walk all over you. But at the same time make sure other’s aggression or the trouble they cause doesn’t make you strike back. Don’t fight fire with fire. Remain a dove. Instead, listen to how the Spirit leads you so that it is Christ leading you, not aggression or fear.
In difficulty and division, help me live by my faith in you.