Saturday, December 10, 2016

Alma 18:22 -- On Being Wise and Harmless

"Now Ammon being wise, yet harmless, he said unto Lamoni: Wilt thou hearken unto my words, if I tell thee by what power I do these things? And this is the thing that I desire of thee."
Alma 18:22

This is part of a great story about Ammon's mission to the Lamanites.  Ammon had done some miraculous things for the king, and the king told him that he could have whatever he wanted as a reward.  And Ammon only asks that the king listen while he explains.  I think that Ammon was really fulfilling what God asked in Matthew 10:16: "be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves."

Most of us, I think, if a king promised us whatever we wanted would ask for a little bit more than a listening ear.  I'm kind of thinking a private island sounds nice, right?  But Ammon, who had volunteered to be the king's servant in the first place, even though he was the son of a high political and spiritual leader himself back in his own land, knew that if the king would listen to him, that he might be able to share the gospel with him.  And that's doing the work of God, and looking to his will rather than our own.

We face similar choices in our lives.  At this time of year, a lot of people will be wondering what we want for Christmas.  Other times, a birthday or other event.  Sometimes, people just want to know what we like or want to get to know us.  Our desires shape who we are.  Maybe none of those things are promises from an earthly king, but we also have a Father in Heaven that will, a lot of the time, give us what we truly want.  I say a lot of the time because sometimes the answer is no... like my desire for a private island.  I have to learn to take care of the toys I already have first, apparently. :)  But God does answer prayers, and other people often do give us what we want when we ask for it.

Today, let's be careful about what we ask for.  Let's make sure we know how we are shaping our own lives through our desires.  Let's make sure that we know how we are affecting other people as well.  Let's be wise and harmless, considering God's will before our own, and doing all the good we can.

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