Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices. (Col. 3:9)

MOST OF US HAVE LITTLE affection for snakes. Aside from the fact that they typically eliminate mice, another unpleasant creature, we don’t have much good to say about them. They didn’t start out well with our species, and there are lingering hard feelings.

However, we may learn one lesson from these slithering devils. They do something both smart and healthy. They molt. My research tells me snakes shed their skin four to eight times yearly, depending on their health, environmental conditions, and other factors. They do this to sustain healthy growth. Their old skin doesn’t always come off easily, so they move against rough surfaces, like tree bark, to loosen the old skin and reveal a fresh one underneath.

When Paul spoke to the church in Colosse, he instructed them to leave behind worldly ways and set their minds on the eternal. He explained that, as believers, their former selves should die to a new life with Christ.

This is what happens when we accept Christ and begin to follow Him. It is the only healthy way to live as a Christian—to rid ourselves of our old lives and put on new ones. It’s not always easy to leave worldly habits behind, but it feels great when we do. And, like a child finding a discarded skin of a snake, there is great joy when we see others walking in new lives.

Examine yourself to see if old “skin” remains; remove it to be a healthier Christian.

Hally Franz is a former high school guidance counselor turned stay-at-home mom. She is also a cheer booster, 4-H leader, church secretary, reader, and traveler.