tonight’s FOCUSgreek event Sister Mary Helen shared some of her experiences
from her time as a Gamma Phi Beta and how her prayer life drew her closer to
God throughout her years in the house, eventually leading her to discern
religious life.She spoke of the
friendships she made and some of the things she faced while living her faith
out in the Greek community. During her
talk she kept referring to how she turned to Mathew 10:16 when things seemed to
be getting difficult.Praying with this
verse afterwards, I was struck with how relevant it is to living a Christian
life while in a fraternity or sorority.
"Behold, I am sending you like sheep in the midst of
wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and simple as doves.”
start from the beginning; I am sending
you like sheep in the midst of wolves. The term midst of wolves is a pretty accurate description of what it is like
to live on a college campus, let alone in the Greek system. There are so many people out there willing to
attack who you are as a person, what you stand for, your values, and your
beliefs. It seems to be especially hard
to be a true Christian who lives out their faith without getting looked down on
by a majority of the student body. I
think that recently there have been plenty of examples of people standing up
for their faith, but getting attacked for voicing their opinion. If something
goes against what society tells us is correct, standing up for it only bring
stares and snide remarks. But yet, even
with all of this turmoil and uncomfort, it is God who is sending us out into this world.
He has a special plan for us and wants you and me to be directly in the
middle of the Greek system, and often in the heart of sin.
We are His sheep; he has a purpose for us and wants
to lead us home. Sheep are often looked
upon as these clueless animals who just roam the pastures trusting in their shepherd. Well maybe, just maybe, that is what God is
calling us to do. We don’t need to know
the answers to everything or win every battle; we just need to be sheep. We need to be the sheep that always trust in
their shepherd. If we trust God, our shepherd, with our whole heart, we go about
living our lives not in fear, but in peace and joy because we know that we are
safe because the Lord is always there watching over us and wanting to steer us
from danger. If we live our lives with
our Shepherd as our guide, we should never worry, even with the threat of wolves
in the distant because as long as we follow the path the Lord has laid out for
us, He will lead us safely home.
“be shrewd as serpents”
be shrewd means to be cunning, good with judgment, or having a clever awareness.
He tells us to be shrewd as serpents referring
to the slyness that serpents have as they move around, always slightly out of
reach and slipping away from danger.
Think back to Adam and Even in the garden, the serpent didn’t tell them
that God didn’t exist; he simply tried to enter into their hearts and convince
them that they could be like God if they would only eat the fruit. What if we lived our lives like this; if we
looked through other people’s eyes to see into their hearts and find their emptiness?
We would be able to find their confusion and present them with the truth of God
that would reach their hearts on a personal level.
if we had the cunning awareness that Jesus possessed as he spoke in the
temples? He was aware of objections that may come his way and knew the best
response before he was even questioned.
However, he wouldn’t use argument to win them over; instead he would
answer a question with a question, stopping the claims against him and causing
those around him to think deeper. Jesus teaches us that it is important to be
aware of the attacks the world may throw at us and be ready to question the
“simple as doves”
can all take a lesson from the doves; the birds that fly around free, not held
down by the world, but spend every day enjoying the gift of life God gave
them. Doves are not worried about possessions
or money or the opinions of others. They
don’t carry suitcases around with material objects they think will make them
happy. Instead, they let each day guide
them in a new direction, following the divine call where ever it may lead
them. What if we could live a life like
this? Not letting anything hold us down and always being open to where the Holy
Spirit may call us?
challenge you to take five minutes and read the rest of this verse below. Close your eyes and open your ears. What is God saying to you as He speaks these
words to you? Is he giving you support? Is he asking you to
be a witness? Is he calling you to be courageous?
"Behold, I am sending
you like sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and simple as
doves. But beware of people, for they will hand you over to courts and
scourge you in their synagogues, and you will be led before governors and kings
for my sake as a witness before them and the pagans. When they hand you over,
do not worry about how you are to speak or what you are to say. You will be
given at that moment what you are to say. For it will not be you who speak but
the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.”