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What looks like a Gaboon viper, sounds like a Gaboon viper, and acts like a Gaboon viper? A Gaboon viper, of course. Also, the Congolese giant toad.

With its two-inch fangs, the Gaboon viper is one of the largest vipers in Africa. The Congolese giant toad can be found only in the same habitat as the Gaboon viper.

With a body that resembles the head of the viper, in that it is the same color and size, the toad can also mimic the sound of the hissing snake. And, when the toad is threatened, it will raise its rear end, making it look similar to the Gaboon viper getting ready to strike (Science News, October 25, 2019).

The toad’s ability to appear to be a Gaboon viper is seemingly an effective defense mechanism in a certainly hostile environment. Looking like a serpent is likely vital to the toad’s survival. Deception is its defense.

On the other hand, the Christian living in an overall religiously-hostile environment, who attempts to appear similar to nonbelievers around him in an effort to “fit in,” puts himself in a spiritually dangerous situation.

The Christian trying to fit in with the world around him might try to sound like a sinner by talking like a sinner.

However, God’s Word instructs the Christian to “let no corrupt word” proceed out of his mouth (Ephesians 4:29). Paul instructed the Colossians to let their speech always be gracious (Colossians 4:6).

The Christian trying to fit in with the world around him might try to look like a sinner. Dressing immodestly is strongly taught against in scriptures like 1 Timothy 2:9, in which Paul states that women should dress respectfully and modestly.

The Christian trying to fit in with the world around him might try to act like a sinner. Romans 12:2 states that Christians are not to be conformed to this world. Rather than imitating unbelievers, Christians are called to be imitators of God (Ephesians 5:1).

The Congolese giant toad may sound like a viper, look like a viper, and act like a viper, but it’s still a toad.

The Christian who tries to sound like a sinner, look like a sinner, and act like a sinner is, in fact, a sinner (1 Timothy 1:16). 

Troy Albers
Graeber Road church of Christ
Rosenberg, TX

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