Reference text: Matthew 10:16-23
Matthew 10:16 Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.
When one is asked to choose between a snake and a dove, majority of people will have an inclination to pick the dove for very clear reasons. The snake has always been known for the potency of its venom and its ability to stalk prey- in effect, the snake has the ‘bad boy tag’. Unlike the snake however, the dove is usually associated with peace, gentleness and innocence. Clear scripture references can be traced back to the garden of Eden and the temptation of Jesus or the floods of Noah and the baptism of Jesus.
Yet, in today’s Gospel, Jesus in a way removes the ‘bad boy tag’ and replaces it with ‘ you can learn something even from the snake’. That is the same tag he associates with those people whom society deems as having nothing to offer. Though you may disagree, based on the text above, I can say that learning cleverness from a dove will be effective, but certainly not as efficient as learning from the snake.
There are different traits in people that we can seek to acquire- the ability to make our own choices thus grants us the opportunity to be selective in those traits we desire. We have at our disposal a variety of persons each possessing a unique blend of characteristics which can be learnt. Let us therefore not align ourselves with the stereotypes which society associates with some people, but rather open our minds to the vast pool of knowledge we can gain from them.
On many occasions, we may actually come to realise after getting close to other people that those we thought were actually ‘the worst’, have a side to them which they keep hidden from the eyes of everyone else. Let us try to breakdown the walls that are put between us and other people and reach out to them because we have something they can learn and they also possess something we can learn.
Remember # everybody has something to offer.