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Surprised by Sin

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By Greg Laurie

 “Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death.”

—James 1:14-15

When I was a kid, I was a snake collector and at one time thought seriously about becoming a herpetologist. I had boas, pythons, king snakes, garter snakes, corn snakes, and gopher snakes. And I caught a lot of those snakes myself.

I also have been bitten by many snakes. That’s because, unlike dogs, you never know what snakes are thinking. You know where you stand with dogs. If a dog likes you, he’ll wag his tail and lick you in the face. Even cats are more affectionate than snakes, which is saying a lot. But there’s no affection with a snake. The only reason a snake likes to be held by a human is because it’s a cold-blooded reptile and likes the warmth of human contact. This is why snakes often sun themselves on rocks and other things. They’re cold-blooded, and their brains are very small.

So a snake could be looking at you and thinking, “I may bite you, but I don’t really know what I’m going to do.” That’s a snake. There is no affection.

I read an article about a British man who kept an eight-foot python named Tiny in his bedroom, along with nine other snakes. After the man was found dead in his room, the coroner concluded, “The most likely scenario is that Tiny was engaged with [him]. I have no doubt she was coiling around him. . . . I have to accept that Tiny is instrumental in [his] death.” This man probably was strangled by his own snake, and that is tragic.

In the same way, sin can creep into our lives and we think, “It’s a tiny sin. I can handle this. This will never get me.” Then the next thing we know, that “tiny” sin has strangled us.



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