WISE AS SERPENTS AND SAFE
Many of our good bretheren work and worship in difficult crime ridden areas and are occasionally preyed upon by ungodly individuals who use the Christian’s desire to do right as leverage. We have many dear sisters in our congregations who frequently labor beyond what is required and teach children classes, purchase supplies, do bulletin boards, cook for events, prepare Communion trays, and many other wonderful things. It is these aforementioned things that are sometimes the reason they may find themselves working alone at the building; something that I and our elders at Beckley Heights are strongly against. To all brethren, please do not work alone at the building wherever you are.
At another congregation I preached for, one of our sisters was working alone at the building when she heard a loud continuous pounding on the door. Our outside doors were made of glass, and so, when she went to investigate she was spotted by an unknown man. She inquired through the locked door if she could help him. The man asked her if she was alone. She replied, “Sir, I cannot give you that information.” The man asked if he could come in and get a drink of water. She told him she was sorry but she couldn’t do that. The man again asked if anyone else was in the building. She repeated that that was information she could not give. Frustrated, the man asked for a few dollars. She expressed sorrow that she couldn’t do it. The man said he might return Sunday for services. She let him know he would be welcomed and the man left. Immediately after his departure, she quickly and wisely left…a little shaken.
We applaud our sister for using wisdom and kindness, BUT, she should have never been in that situation. With the way things are today, who knows what the man’s real motives were? She could have unwisely endangered herself through a well-meaning act of giving a stranger a drink at the wrong time.
In the context of the work of the Lord, specifically evangelism, which is the fundamental responsibility of every congregation and of every Christian, Jesus said, “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves” (Matt. 10:16).
The Lord didn’t send them alone either. “After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come” (Luke 10:1). Brethren, there is much benefit in not being alone. “And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him…” (Eccl. 4:12; cf. 9-12).
Richard Stevens III