Now I urge you, brethren, keep your eye on those who cause dissensions and hindrances contrary to the teaching which you learned, and turn away from them. For such men are slaves, not of our Lord Christ but of their own appetites; and by their smooth and flattering speech they deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting. - ROMANS 16:17-18
Shock collars have saved the lives of many quail dogs. A de-fanged snake is hidden under a bush, and an electric collar placed on the dog. When the dog catches the snake’s scent and pokes under the bush, a slight surge of electricity shocks the dog. After two or three jolts, the dog stays away from snakes.
Unsuspecting people are like the naïve hounds. They are lured easily by the slithering smoothness and glib flattery of people wanting to sink their fangs into their hearts. It’s sad when we have to be shocked into alertness by experiencing consequences of bad choices. For some it requires many jolts before they understand the danger.
It’s better to recognize the lairs where the snakes may hide. Such places are marked. Wherever people try to lead us into unity-destroying plots and schemes, wherever traps are sprung to snare the weak and lead people away from sound biblical truth, a serpent is hiding. Don’t be naïve but have an alert heart.
Ask the Lord to increase your desire for sound doctrine, your alertness to those who would try to draw you into conflicts and traps that would divide the local church and separate people from Christ’s truth.