Some people will take advantage of our kindness if we let them. But our goodness does not require us to be a pushover. In fact, there are many situations that require us to be cunning yet harmless.
We want to be team players and help others whenever we can.
But we’re also aware that people will often abuse our kindness and load us down with many burdens God never intended us to bear.
Naturally, we then want to protect ourselves. And if we’re not careful, the blindness of our self-protection can then lead us to harming others.
We often find ourselves tossed between two extremes – either becoming a door mat and allowing people to walk over us or hurting them before they get a chance to hurt us.
Jesus shows us a better way.
He taught his disciples to be as cunning as snakes and as harmless as doves.
We don’t live in Mayberry where everyone seeks our best interest. But this doesn’t mean we should resort to a dog-eat-dog world either.
To be cunning means we’re crafty enough not to be taken advantage of. We speak up whenever a situation is unjust. Our kindness should never be an excuse to let injustice stand.
At the same time, to be harmless means we still seek the good of the other. We don’t trade one harm for another. Our kindness is based on who God has called us to be and not on the actions of the other.
Whether on the job, in marriage, or even at church we must remain both wise and kind. And to do otherwise brings unnecessary harm to ourselves and to others.
Don’t let others walk over you and do not harm them either.
Be cunning yet harmless.