A Native American proverb, as told by Iron Eyes Cody:
Many years ago Indian braves would go away in solitude to prepare for manhood. One hiked into a beautiful valley, green with trees and bright with flowers. There as he looked up at the surrounding mountains, he noticed a rugged peak capped with dazzling snow.
"I will test myself against that mountain," he thought. He put on his buffalo hide shirt, threw his blanket over his shoulders, and set off to climb the pinnacle. When he reached the top, he stood on the rim of the world. He could see forever, and his heart swelled with pride.
Then he heard a rustle at his feet. Looking down, he saw a snake. Before he could move, the snake spoke.
"I am about to die," said the snake. "It is too cold up here and there is no food. Put me under your coat and take me down to the valley."
"No," said the youth. "I know your kind. You are a rattle snake. If I pick you up, you will bite me, and your bite will kill me."
"Not so," said the snake. "I will treat you differently. If you do this for me, I will not harm you."
The youth resisted awhile, but this was a very persuasive snake. At last the youth tucked the snake under his coat and carried it down to the valley. There he laid it down gently.
Suddenly the snake coiled, rattled, leaped, and bit him on the leg.
"But you promised," cried the youth!
"You knew what I was when you picked me up," said the snake as it slithered away.
Just as the young brave is convinced to pick up the snake in spite of his awareness of the danger, we face a similar dilemma when it comes to sin. We know the ultimate end of sin, and yet we allow ourselves to be deceived and enticed. We end up going against the will of God just to seek our own desires.
1 Corinthians 10:13 - No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.
Are we seeking the exits that God promises to help us escape temptation that leads to sin or do we ignore the warnings of our conscience and put ourselves in harm's way willingly?