I absolutely hate snakes. In my opinion, the only good snake is a dead snake. But pastor and author Greg Laurie spoke of how he was obsessed with snakes when he was younger, even keeping multiple snakes as pets in his room. He came to know a man who collected venomous snakes, including the incredibly lethal tiger snake. This man was actually bitten by the tiger snake and lived to tell about it.

Although it was a close call, he credited his survival with the fact that he gave himself daily injections of tiger snake serum, and effectively developed an immunity to its venom. Rather than realizing how fortunate he was to still be alive, this man became invincible in his own mind. He became careless, even letting all of his deadly snakes roam freely in his house. One day he was bitten in the leg by one of his cobras, was subsequently hospitalized, and died.

It’s a tragic story, but an ending you could probably predict halfway through reading. It reminds me of the expression, “If you lay down with dogs, you will wake up with fleas.” If you let cobras slither around your house, you will probably get struck.

The man in the story became overconfident and thus let his guard down. Early on he probably handled each snake with extreme care and trepidation, but gradually he grew more comfortable around the reptiles. This lack of fear would prove to be his undoing.

Christians must view sin like I view snakes—stay far away from them, unless you are killing one. If we are not careful, we will get used to them and no longer have the same concern we once had. The wages of sin is still death, but some seem to think that because they have survived their bout with the tiger snake, then the cobra is noting to worry about. These cold-blooded killers are nothing to play around with, and neither is the sin that is even more destructive than a thousand bites.

The devil, who made his entrance into history in the form of a snake, should make us all put our guard up. Peter warned, “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8).”