Monday, April 20, 2009

Under the Cover of Darkness

By stealth the B-2 Spirit Stealth Bomber runs missions that we’d hardly ever know existed, bar things like an inquisitive Wikipedia search. Stealth is also the mission of some, both toward good and evil ends.

One thing that’s afforded the godly person is the ability to grow the way of stealth. So long as the mission is a trustworthy one, why would it matter if we achieved some things by virtue of ‘the quiet way’?

Wisdom is shrouded in stealth. One cannot be truly wise without it. We get the Christian walk very wrong when we think it’s all honesty and no discernment. It’s both, simultaneously.

In a paraphrase of Jesus’ words, he says,
“You’re going to be like sheep running through a wolf pack, so don’t call attention to yourselves. Be as cunning as a snake, inoffensive as a dove”
–Matthew 10:16 (Msg).

And this is the balance that at all times is required. One cannot be blessed in stealthiness unless there’s a genuine righteousness of intent about it; it is therefore absolutely conditional on a right relationship with God and people, and by virtue of that, a regular commitment to repentance, joy, and all other Christian fruit of the Spirit. Without this ‘defence,’ the Christian operating on stealth runs some very dangerous risks, both personally and with others, including hypocrisy. We are powerless in our strength--which is almost a pathetically regular cited cliché in Christian circles--but it’s nonetheless true.

In stealth we resist provoking ant’s nests. We must be both shrewd and guileless.[1] Being both pure and prudent is no easy task and it requires and necessitates a strong, functional relationship with God. We get it totally wrong otherwise. The mix of both these attributes is probably one of the best ways of viewing true biblically-based wisdom; it has both in equal measure, and then some others, like diligence.

And it’s a necessity that a good part of the Christian mission is stated in these terms, for we fail otherwise in our objectives in bringing truth and spiritual light to those lives in need (including our own), in the name of Christ Jesus our Lord.

Copyright © 2009, S. J. Wickham. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.

[1] Craig S. Keener, Matthew – The IVP New Testament Commentary Series (Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity Press, 1997), p. 207.

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