The Lord Himself says, Be ye therefore wise as serpents and harmless as doves. According to commentaries, the wisdom of the serpent consists of the fact that when a serpent is attacked, it first of all protects its head; similarly, in times of misfortune and difficult circumstances, the Christian must, first of all, protect his faith. Secondly, the wisdom of the serpent consists of the fact that when it wants to shed its old skin, it slithers into a tight space, otherwise it will not be able to shed its skin. Likewise with the Christian, if he wishes to shed himself of the ‘old man,’ must take the narrow path, according to the Gospel teaching. The harmlessness of the dove consists in gentleness and forgiveness of offenses, vexations and similar things.