Watch out for people who cause divisions and upset people’s faith by teaching things contrary to what you have been taught. Such people are not serving Christ our Lord; they are serving their own personal interests. By smooth talk and glowing words they deceive innocent people. But everyone knows that you are obedient to the Lord. This makes me very happy. I want you to be wise in doing right and to stay innocent of any wrong. The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. May the grace of our Lord Jesus be with you." ~ Paul to the Christians in Rome (Romans 16:17-20 NLT)
"I can handle it."
"NO! You don't understand. One bite from that snake and you're dead!"
My friend's dad warned me. He knew the snake. I did not. I thought this was just another harmless reptile that I could pick-up and play with. I'm thankful that he recognized a rattlesnake, even though it's rattler had been detached! (Very close!)
There're reasons why the Bible reveals Satan as a serpent. He's venomous. Toxic. He's often close but hard to locate and grip. He's no respecter of persons. He's cunning and manipulative. He's threatened by you and is always looking for the smallest most subtle way to strike.
There are many snakes in this world, and some are in the Church of Jesus Christ. Don't give the Serpent any place of opportunity to bite you!. The bitter poison of division will leave you weak and lethargic and affects others. One of the divinely designed benefits of being in the Kingdom of God is protection from the poisons that destroy lives. However, you must guard your life by guarding your heart. When tempers flare, and conflict and strife are conflating the atmosphere, snakes are in the area! Either release peace or remove yourself from that place. Don't get bit!
In God's family, our skin color, traditions and cultures do not divide us. We are united by the power of His Word, the value of His blood and the Love of His Spirit.