I hate snakes. I know this is a built-in aversion to the animal that reaches back to that fateful date with Eve in the garden. (Gen 3:1-15) I try to avoid them at all times, even to the point of changing my path. My son and I were running errands the other evening, just after dusk, when we saw a shadow starting to slip across the road. I swerved to miss it.
My son said, “Mom, that was a snake! You should’ve squashed it!”
My skin crawled at the thought of running over the thing. What if I didn’t kill it? What if I missed, or worse, what if it struck at the van and wrapped around the axle? My mind reeled at the paranoid possibilities.
My son convinced me, “Mom, what if it hurts someone? We should stop it before it bites someone.”
I realized as we turned around to make another pass, it was no skinny black snake. This was a fat, dusty colored cottonmouth—very poisonous. And it was headed towards a populated area. I lined up my van wheels and went forward. In my rear view, it was hard to tell if I hit it or not. We rounded the bend to check the damage. In my headlights it seemed bigger, and it waited. I lined up my wheels again and this time, I felt the crunch pop. Waves of revulsion went through me. Clearly, the snake did not survive.
There is a more dangerous snake that is prevalent in everyone’s life. In Genesis, the serpent is Satan, sent to deceive and tempt humans. This snake is sin incarnate. How often do we avoid ridding ourselves of this detestable being? Do we step around the sin in our life, too scared to squash it, only to find it raising its head at another opportunity? Do we rationalize that it’s just a small sin, and so we let it alone, only to find it growing bigger or multiplying? Just how hard is it to line up the van wheels, take aim, and crush the serpent’s head?
The best way to rid your life of habitual sin is to confess and repent in prayer. Know that Jesus came to ultimately crush satan and his minions. He will help you as you rid your life of serpents if you just ask.
Call on someone to hold you accountable: your pastor, prayer partner or small group.
Recognize sin for what it is. Sin is real and it is poisonous to your soul.
Finally, if we don’t do everything we can to rid it from our lives, it’s going to either bite our loved ones or us. And in the end, that sting of sin is Death. 1Co 15:56a