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. 

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When we develop a relationship with Christ, we want to grow like Christ in word and deed. We want to develop Christ-like character. However, as sinners saved by grace, we approach ethical growth knowing that, compared to Christ, "all our righteous acts are like filthy rags" (Isa. 64:6). We act ethically in order to glorify and imitate him, but we humbly understand that we will never be him. We act ethically in response to the One who acted far more ethically than we can fully grasp.

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