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You Can Not Sweep a Snake Under the Rug

By Barrett Bingham | 09.30.15

A few weeks ago I was taking a walk in a park not far from where I live. There were several other people on this particular trail. Everyone I passed was usually silent, only breaking their concentration to nod or give a small wave as they panted past. But toward the end of my walk, I came upon an elderly man telling his companion a story. He was holding his hands almost five feet apart, and he was explaining that his wife had killed a snake that size in their bedroom. Then he said something very peculiar, “but it was just a rat snake.”

JUST a rat snake. That is something you only hear in the South. Even if it is just a rat snake, it is something to be concerned about. It can still bite! And how did it get inside? Does it have friends? It made me laugh, but there was something familiar about the calm justification in his voice.
We often try to justify sin in our lives, usually without admitting it to ourselves. We honestly think a few lies, cheating a couple of times, holding a grudge, and indulging just a little more doesn’t really count as sin. Jesus tells the Pharisees in Matthew 5 that having lust and hatred in your heart is the same as committing an act of adultery or murder. Not to say that all sin is equal, but that all sin stems from the heart and any amount of sin leads to death (Romans 6:23). All sin is against an infinite God, and deserving of an infinite penalty. That also means that no sin is too big or too small to be completely handled by God. Don’t go to sleep with snakes in your bedroom. Even if they are just a few rat snakes.


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