Who do we blame in this story? The snake, for being a snake, or the hiker, who should have known better? Unfortunately, it can be a bit harder to recognize the snakes in our own lives. No one ever markets themselves as an unethical reptile, after all.
This is where we have to exercise discernment, and to be very, very careful in how we do business and in whom we partner with. We are supposed to be "as wise as serpents," without becoming them ourselves. That can mean making some pretty unpopular decisions, but all we can do is make them thoughtfully and prayerfully, and trust that for us, the ethical choice is the only choice.
A man started to climb a high, steep mountain when a snake asked the man to carry him along. "But you're a snake," the man said.
The snake smiled. "Don't worry. I won't bite you."
After days of arduous climbing, the man reached the mountain summit, whereupon the poisonous snake bit him. As he lay dying, the man cried out, "You said you wouldn't bite me!"
His reptilian hitchhiker looked at him and said, "Ha! You knew I was a snake when you picked me up."
This is Howard Butt, Jr., of Laity Lodge. We're often tempted to make deals when we shouldn't. If you trust snakes, you'll get bit. It's impossible to travel with the wrong people and reach the right result . . . in the high calling of our daily work.
Do not be misled: "Bad company corrupts good character." Come back to your senses as you ought, and stop sinning; for there are some who are ignorant of God — I say this to your shame. (1 Cor. 15:33-34)
Want to hear more? You can find this video, with transcript, and dozens more at The High Calling YouTube Channel.