Wise as Serpents#2. “Become sober-minded.”

Wise as Serpents#2. “Become sober-minded.”

Late one Saturday night I picked up a man walking on the side of the road. He was very thankful and asked me if I was a Christian. When I told him I was, he said, “I knew it. I can tell. I want to come to your church tomorrow. What time do you start?” His eyes filled with tears as he told me that he was away from the Lord, and that he was going to ‘get back to Jesus.’ Did I expect to see him the next morning? Not really. You see, the reason I picked him up was because I saw that he was drunk, and that he was a danger to himself and to the other drivers. My guess is that he had a spiritual experience about that time every Saturday night. Come Sunday morning the last thing on his mind was church—he would have been too busy trying to sleep off the intoxicating spirits of the night before.

Imagine being one of the Corinthian brethren to whom Paul said: “Become sober-minded as you ought, and stop sinning” (1Cor.15:34). Christians assume themselves to be sober-minded at all times. To be called out on this would be taken as an insult to one’s integrity.

But Paul is not holding back. He continues: “For some have no knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame.”

Some of the Corinthian brethren needed to snap out of their stupefied states. Bad teachings from “Bad company” had helped to convince them that there was no resurrection of the dead. Their minds had become drunk on the toxins of false teachings, and their bodies plunged headlong into sin— False teaching is the sin that multiplies.

My drunk passenger knew the darkness of his mind, and despite his best intentions, knew that he was going to do nothing to change his ways. To be ‘as wise as serpents’ the Christian must not only see things as they are, but he must also see things as they must be and do them.

This takes sober-mindedness.

John Staiger


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