Scorpions…nasty little things! You’d think the bigger they are the more venemous. Not so. At least not in the part of west Africa where we served. It was the little red reddish brown ones like the one pictured below. You could expect to endure up to 3 days of intense pain before it subsided. I experienced the venom of one of these little guys once…the pain is of a completely different nature than I had ever felt before. It was bewildering. It was like electric shocks of fire running up my leg following the spiderweb of nerve endings. Just moving one toe would send another intense shockwave coursing up my leg. But I’ll save that story and its miraculous ending for another time.
I came across this old indian parable several years ago:
“A holy man was engaged in his morning meditation under a tree whose roots stretched out over the riverbank. During his meditation he noticed that the river was rising, and a scorpion caught in the roots was about to drown. He crawled out on the roots and reached down to free the scorpion, but every time he did so, the scorpion struck back at him.
“An observer came along and said to the holy man, ‘Don’t you know that’s a scorpion, and it’s in the nature of a scorpion to want to sting?’
“To which the holy man replied, ‘That may well be, but it is my nature to save, and must I change my nature because the scorpion does not change its nature?”
So what differentiates a true disciple of Jesus from the world? We have been given a new nature. A nature of “crazy” love for God and man. After all, “if you love those who love you, what reward will you get? …and if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others?” Matt 5:46-47
You have scorpions. I have scorpions. Its in their nature to sting. Its time you accept that fact. Let it be said of us that our defining new nature was that of genuinely loving our enemies. After all, you and I were scorpions once- rebellious enemies of God. Still Christ died for the despicable, self-indulged scorpions we were. Oh, that we would walk in the Spirit so we won’t fulfill the desires of our sinful nature(Gal 5). Don’t exchange who you are in Christ to fight as a scorpion with a scorpion. Annihilate them with genuine love! First try praying for that jerk! You may not feel like it at first but try. I mean, really ask God to show you his/her hurting heart. Ask God to show you His heart for this miserable specimen of humanity. Soon enough you will find yourself repenting for the hateful attitude you harboured. Perhaps you will even genuinely weep for them. You’ll begin to joyfully sacrifice for them. And when they strike back, it won’t matter because you have heavens heart for them. O God, that we would have your heart for our enemies! Amen.