There is an old story about a hiker who, while climbing in early spring, came upon a rattlesnake. The snake was nearly frozen and begged for mercy.
“I am too frozen to do you any harm,” it cried.
The climber, full of compassion, picked up the half-dead snake and put it under his shirt next to his chest. As he climbed, the snake began to warm up and bit the climber. The climber grabbed the snake and tossed it to the ground.
“Why?” asked the man. “I befriended you and trusted you.”
“True,” hissed the snake, “but do not blame me. You knew I was a snake and that I would bite when you picked me up.”
Many people, young and old, pick up sin and put it into their lives and go about their business. As time goes on, the sin bites them and harms them, and they fall apart. Sin has wasted them. They cry out, but the sin answers back, “You knew what I was when you picked me up.“
Romans 6:23 states that “the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (KJV). Sin is nothing to play with. It has the strength to defeat you if you embrace it. Are you thinking of picking up what you know to be sin?
Leave it be. Don’t pick it up.
Paul writes in Galatians 5:19-21, “It is obvious what kind of life develops out of trying to get your own way all the time: repetitive, loveless, cheap sex; a stinking accumulation of mental and emotional garbage; frenzied and joyless grabs for happiness . . . the vicious habit of depersonalizing everyone into a rival; uncontrolled and uncontrollable addictions; ugly parodies of community. I could go on. This isn’t the first time I have warned you, you know. If you use your freedom this way, you will not inherit God’s kingdom” (The Message).
Paul is talking about “habitual practicing” of sin in your life; i.e., doing repeatedly the things that will harm you. If you say that you are surrendered to Jesus Christ, then know this: there is no such thing as a friendly snake (sin).
If you know what sin is, don’t pick it up.
Pastor George Belobaba
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