The Scorpion and The Tortoise

Sometimes we wonder why we sin. This is especially hard if we think we are basically good and “the answer is within.”

The fact is, the problem is within. For all practical purposes, we have ourselves to thank when we give into temptation. Jesus told us, “From Within, out of the heart of man, is what defiles the man” (Mark 7:21-23).

Where is the logic in that?

That brings me to the fable of the scorpion and the tortoise.

One day, a scorpion who wanted to cross a pond. As you may know, scorpions can’t really swim. He found a rather unsuspecting tortoise and asked if he would give him a lift.

The tortoise exclaimed, “Are you joking? You’ll sting me while I’m swimming and I’ll drown.”

“My dear tortoise,” laughed the scorpion, “If I were to sting you, you would drown and I’d go down with you! Now where is the logic in that?”

“You’ve got a point there,” reasoned  the tortoise. “Hop on.”

Resigned to his fate

The scorpion climbed aboard and the tortoise set off into the water. Halfway across the pond, the scorpion carefully aimed his powerful stinger and gave that tortoise everything he had.

As they both sank to the bottom, the tortoise, resigned to his fate, turned to the scorpion and said, “Do you mind if I ask you something? You said there is no logic in you stinging me. So why did you do it?”

“It has nothing to do with logic,”  the drowning scorpion replied.  “It’s just my nature!”

In a sense, that is a very accurate way of defining temptation. When we get tempted and when we give into it, we like to conveniently place the blame on someone or something else.

I’ve heard people say, “Get behind me, Satan . . . and push!” The fact is, “It’s just our nature!”

Be careful

So be aware of that today. Satan needs our cooperation in this area before we give in to his temptation. Where there is no desire on our part, then there is no temptation.

As it’s been said, “It takes two to make a successful temptation, and you are one of the two.”

But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death. (James 1:14-15)

4 thoughts on “The Scorpion and The Tortoise”

  1. Nancy J Locke says:

    Beautiful post. It does take two. Lovely imagery.

    Nancy J Locke

  2. Valerie says:

    Lately, i have been feeling like the people who say “Satan get behind me …….and push”
    Lost my long time very best friend a few months ago and now i feel so lonely, my Fiancee does not understand how to talk to me. I am losing him too. When i listen to your radio show it makes me feel better for a few minutes. I am the tortoise, always giving without thinking.

  3. Linda says:

    I have been struggling with “anger” and with “reacting” to someone in my life, and everyday it is a battle. It was brought to my attention this morning as I was praying, in Romans 12:18, “Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.” It isn’t about my anger, it is about God using his anger to punish any wrong doing. I am reminded in Romans 12:21, “Do not let evil defeat you, but defeat evil by doing good.” Thank you Pastor Greg, you always preach on something I need to hear at that moment. Very true, the answer is within.

  4. Anne Maltes says:

    I just wanted to say that I really enjoyed last Sunday’s sermon. I liked the way you broke down how Jesus was tempted.

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