Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Shrewdness (03/07/05)
TITLE: The Pattern of Shrewdness
By Carol Adams
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From the world’s view, we see a pattern of cheating, bribery, and cutting corners to achieve success. If you do not use these tactics, you probably will not be successful in business. Unless one has
shrewdness, the world says you will have a tough time of living and operating in our world.
How can we as Christians maintain our identity in Christ enjoying victory in Him while living in a world that demands absolute conformity to the world’s view and values? Matthew 10:16 NIV, states, “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore, be as shrewd as snakes
and as innocent as doves.”
Sheep and wolves are not compatible. Wolves eat sheep. Christ says that is where I am sending you - among the wolves. A world, which is a dangerous place. He tells them that they will be persecuted and will be tempted to compromise and deny Him. He encourages them to stand firm in the face of battle. As believers, we co-exist in a corrupt world. He wanted to prepare them to meet those challenges while they maintained their innocence. Jesus advice to them and to us is to be shrewd, but not like the world is shrewd, but wise in an innocent sense.
As disciples of Christ, we are “sent” into the world to be a lighthouse. From the world’s perspective, the plan is to outwit the competition and achieve success. In contrast, however, the Christians in the world are to witness by their integrity and testimony. The challenge for Christians is that we must “outwit” the wolves of this world that would try to trap and devour the
sheep with goodness and truth.
Since Christ is the one who commissions believers to go into the world, he expects us to be wise in our lives. Jesus intends for us to be in the world. Jesus is the good Shepherd and where there is a Shepherd there is sheep. Just because He sent His disciples out to a wicked world does not mean He abandoned them. He is always with us. He never forsakes us, and He is always equipping us to do His work. His resources knows no limits.
When Jesus told the disciples to be wise or shrewd like serpents and harmless as doves, He was telling them to have the wisdom of the serpent, which would save them from unnecessary exposure to danger. He tells them not to provoke injury or judge them so that their fellow men would be enraged against them, which is being harmless as doves. Be wise! Be shrewd!
Jesus expects us to be shrewd in judgment because we are strong in the Lord; and shrewd “in Him” to be in the midst of a corrupt world, identifying with it, but not overcome by the world’s schemes and escaping from its tentacles by committing ourselves to the Lord and His Great Commission.
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