Shake Off the Snake

“But Paul shook off the snake into the fire and was unharmed.” – Acts 28:5


There is such a thing as righteous anger, but it’s hard to know where the line is drawn. Take for example the story of Jesus kicking the money changers and other hooligans out of the temple.  The Bible says he drove them out.  This was not a little wimpy “please sir, would you mind leaving…”  This was Christ turning over their tables and fashioning a cord to whip them with.  People don’t take into account that Jesus was a carpenter prior to His earthly ministry.  They didn’t just pull the Chevy truck up to the wood and haul it home.  He carried trees and lumber for a living.  Jesus was a physically tough guy.  Our Savior brought “the gun show” and wasn’t afraid to use them.


The fact is that Jesus wasn’t going to stand idly by while people defiled God’s temple. He taught love and acceptance of all of God’s children, but what He didn’t accept was sin.  The old adage of “love the sinner, but hate the sin” is completely true.  However, too many times we see ourselves poisoned by our anger until we are no better than those we are fighting against.  We all face times of anger and that’s OK, but what are you doing with it? Some times when it seems like the devil is hitting us from all sides.  We all deal with it differently, but we only make things worse when we engage in those same actions.  If someone is cruel to us, it seems only fitting that we should be cruel back to them, right?  Certainly not.


Christ said that if someone hits us, we should turn the other cheek to them. Unfortunately, our first instinct is to turn the other cheek, then come back around with a left hook.  That’s not God’s way though.  Sometimes we do have to stand up for what’s right. There are good fights and bad fights.  The Bible is replete with God-sanctioned wars, but those are people of God versus the forces of evil.  The lines were clearly drawn. Now, those lines are so fuzzy that we often have no idea who is on what side.


My point is that we should never find ourselves being pushed so far by evil that we, in turn, do evil while on our quest for good. We get wronged so we feel we must get some payback.  It’s hard, but we must fight against ourselves to keep from fighting against others in some situations.  In your battle against sin, do not become sin yourselves or your fight is for nothing.  God said that He is the judge and will avenge our wrongs, so let Him.  He can do a much better and more thorough job at it than you or I ever could.  Sometimes, it may look like things are going nowhere and those who do evil are getting the upper hand, but God is the ultimate strategist.  Trust in Him.


The devil is a snake waiting for his chance to bite you. When you stay with Jesus, you will be able to shake the devil off into the fire where he belongs.


God’s blessings to you.