What is the essence of wisdom? It is silence and harmlessness. That’s what Jesus meant when He said, “Be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.”

“But,” you say, “Snakes don’t really have wisdom.” That’s not the truth.

A friend of mine went to the woods to do some hunting when a snake suddenly bit him on the leg. He tried his best to avoid being bitten, but the silent snake was hard to see. By the time my friend noticed the creature, it was too late. Thankfully, he survived.

Snakes are silent but deadly. Saints should be silent and harmless. But instead of being harmless, we are often reckless. This could not be truer than in our conversations.

We have to learn when it’s best not to say anything. There will be times when we disagree. But a person with wisdom knows when to keep his mouth shut. We don’t have to argue with everybody who thinks differently than we do. The key to spiritual victory is not getting others to think the way we think, but learning to think the way God thinks.

Do you know someone who holds a different doctrinal position than you? Don’t just blast away – that will not work. You don’t have to agree with their position, but you should reflect on their background and think about how and why they believe the way they do. Then after considering the best response, try to lovingly share the truth as a true friend. The practice of God’s wisdom may be the key to convincing them of the way God thinks about the issues.

You are not what you think you are. What you think, you are. — Unknown Author

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder