ALL THINGS ARE LAWFUL - The Warrior's Journey®


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“All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful, but not all things edify” (1 Corinthians 10:23)


On Sunday, March 21, 2021, a Raleigh, North Carolina man drove himself to the ER at the UNC-REX Healthcare Center. His problem? He had just been bitten by his pet snake.

Now, being bit by one’s pet doesn’t normally constitute an emergency. But this bite came from a green mamba. It’s a snake native to Central Africa that’s very fast and highly venomous. The mamba’s venom contains powerful neurotoxins which will shut down the victim’s heart and lungs if not treated immediately. Without anti-venom the victim’s chances of survival are extremely low.

But mamba anti-venom is not a common commodity in hospitals. UNC-REX personnel had to contact the Riverbanks Zoo in Columbia, South Carolina for the lifesaving cure. Ten vials of the anti-venom were flown 250 miles from Columbia to Raleigh. Doctors at UNC-REX administered four of these vials to their patient, and, within a few days he was back home – and reunited with his pet snake.

I hope this story is raising some red flags in your mind. “Why would anyone keep a mamba as a pet? Is it even legal to do so? And if it is legal, with anti-venom being so scarce, can it be safe?”

Actually, it is perfectly lawful to keep a green mamba as a pet in North Carolina. The law only stipulates that owners must keep its terrarium locked and secure. These provisions, however, are no guarantee for the safety of the household.

This story reminds me of Paul’s admonition to the 1st Century Corinthian church. The Corinthian congregation prided itself on its spiritual gifts and knowledge. But this pride led to a careless attitude toward sin, as if they were beyond its dangers. “We’re not under the law anymore,” they could say, “we’re under grace. All the law’s restrictions and penalties no longer have jurisdiction over us. Our position in God’s grace is secure in Christ. All things are lawful for us.”

They’d be right, but there’s much more to the equation. Paul reminds the Corinthians that although “all things are lawful,” not all things are profitable or good for us (1 Corinthians 6:12; 10:23). It may be lawful to keep a green mamba in your house as a pet, but, according to herpetologist Sean Foley, it is highly inadvisable to do so. In the same way, there are most definitely sinful practices that will erode our faith, dull our spiritual senses, and cause us and others to fall away. If we persist, these sins will bring God’s discipline and judgment upon us (1 Corinthians 10:1-12).

Even when the Scripture does not specifically address some questionable practice we engage in, we must ask ourselves, “What is this doing to my relationship with God? What is it doing to my faith? What foothold of Satan is it allowing in my home? What evil is it exposing to my spouse and children?”  Jesus told us that there are things that may appear as innocent and good as an eye, a hand, or a foot. But if that which seems good is causing us to stumble morally and spiritually, then we must get rid of it (Mark 9:43-47).

And if God has appointed us as the spiritual leader of our home (i.e. the believing head of any household), we must also ask ourselves this question. “Is my persistent sinful practice punching a hole in the spiritual defenses around my family?”  As the spiritual leader, your prayers for your spouse and children will provide an umbrella of protection around them. But if you keep the door of your heart open to sin, won’t it compromise that protection and expose your family to satanic or demonic activity (Psalm 66:18)?

Get rid of those dangerous pets. Fill your life and your home with God’s presence instead. Replace those unprofitable habits and pastimes with reading the Scripture and praying together as a couple and as a family. Replace fruitless activities with group worship and Bible study. If Jesus has delivered you from sin, then give careful attention to His warning in Luke 11:24-26. We need the presence of Christ to fill our lives and our homes.


PRAYER:  Dear Father in heaven, I confess my sins to You. I have allowed evil into my home through the keeping of “pet sins” in my life. O Father, please open my eyes to the dangers that these secret sins present to my spiritual health and that of my family. Please forgive my sin and do Your miraculous work in me. Renew my heart and create in me a hunger for You – and an abhorrence for sin. Help me to make more room for You in my life by getting rid of all the garbage that crowds You out. Save me and my family, O God, for Jesus’ sake. Amen.


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