Today’s information dump from my brain into yours could seem pretty much just strictly spiritual advice. But even if you’re not in the mood for religion, stick around, because it has some seriously practical applications in daily life, too.
Anyway, I have two great biblical passages to share with you on today’s theme. For those with attention deficit issues (and if you’ve got those, you’ve definitely come to the wrong blog; I post way too long most days), they’re short, so don’t worry.
Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. Gospel of Matthew, chapter 10, verse 16, King James version
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour. First Peter, chapter 5, verse 8, King James version
In the Christian’s attempt to overcome the world and spread the gospel, both of the above passages are critical. Do not go out into the world naive about what you face. Kenny Rogers sang in “The Gambler” that: You need to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em; know when to walk away, know when to run.
We must be peaceful whenever possible, which pretty much mean almost all the time. But at the same time, be aware and be watchful. Don’t be caught off guard and don’t be afraid to be wary or even cynical at times. Be willing and able to see the best in people; don’t assume that people are good though.
The second passage covers a lot of the same themes as the first, but with a more specific slant toward not letting Satan get too many good licks in on you, nor any of his servants (whether his actual servants or just folks he nudges your way to mess you up). But it adds another wrinkle: Be sober.
No, I’m not saying you have to be a teetotaller. God knows I’m not. Only reason I don’t have a beer every day or two is that my work and Little Girl Blue don’t really allow for much of that, and I’m paranoid about driving with any alcohol in my blood. I like a good drink now and again. But drinking doesn’t mean drunk. Any time you let alcohol or drugs get your senses and your judgment muddled, you open yourself to being attacked and to doing things that can really set you down a bad path.
Also remember that being sober isn’t just about intoxication. It’s also about things like covetousness, lust, passion and the like getting ahold of you in a big way. Don’t go overboard on such things because when they consume you, they can mess up your ability to be harmless, wise and/or vigilant like nobody’s business.
So, what does this mean for the non-Christian, who doesn’t have any reason to spread the gospel and doesn’t believe in Satan or maybe any devils at all? Well, even if you don’t believe in supernatural forces, you still have devils in your life. Might be an adversary or competitor. Might be a boss or a subordinate. Might be a bitter spouse or an angry ex. Might be a random criminal or someone you trust who is waiting to betray you.
Just be sober. Be vigilant. Be peaceful and be wise.
Just be careful out there.