Resisting the Urge

It was back in my university days when I learned about the parable of The Scorpion and the Frog. From what is known about it, the story is an animal fable that emerged in Russia in the early 20th century.  According to Wikipedia’s version, it goes like this:

A scorpion wants to cross a river but cannot swim, so it asks a frog to carry it across. The frog hesitates, afraid that the scorpion might sting it, but the scorpion promises not to, pointing out that it would drown if it killed the frog in the middle of the river. The frog considers this argument sensible and agrees to transport the scorpion. Midway across the river, the scorpion stings the frog anyway, dooming them both. The dying frog asks the scorpion why it stung despite knowing the consequence, to which the scorpion replies: “I am sorry, but I couldn’t resist the urge. It’s in my nature.”

Our inherent personality traits, emotional makeup, and “nature”are so strong, that as the parable states – even when it hurts us, we still can’t help it.

That’s why salvation isn’t an end point – it’s the start of a long journey. What God did on the cross provides forgiveness and sets the stage for our renewal, but when it comes to our nature and personality, we must always be alert and in training.

Over the years, I’ve known highly respected Christian leaders who still had quick tempers, were prone to emotional outbursts, treated their team poorly, struggled with porn, secretly drank heavily, and more. They were brilliant leaders in many ways, but still had a long way to go to achieve their full calling.

You’ve probably heard the phrase, “A saved turkey is still a turkey.” 

I wrestle with it just like everyone else.

Let’s start by thanking God for the cross, but then let’s start working on ourselves. 

Let’s be the person God called us to be – not the turkey we used to be.

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This article originally appeared on and is reposted here by permission.

Phil Cooke
Phil Cooke

Phil Cooke is a filmmaker, media consultant and founder of Cooke Media Group in Los Angeles, California. His latest book is Ideas on a Deadline: How to Be Creative When the Clock is Ticking. Find out more at