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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Snap (09/04/08)

TITLE: GetRiddaDaGorilla
By Debi Derrick


“The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up. I truly delight in God’s commands, but it’s pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight.”
Romans 7:21-22, The Message

Every generation invents a little slang. Your great-great-grandmother may have been one of the young people who helped popularize the first nationally-recognized bit of it – “23 skiddoo.” A phrase that referred to leaving in a hurry. If you’re in my age bracket, you used to watch the Patridge Family on television and peppered your language with “groovy,” when you talked about the things you liked. (Horrors!)

And besides inventing words here and there, sometimes old ones get new meaning. “Snap” comes to mind. It’s almost always refers to something that happens in a hurry – like soldiers snapping to attention when an officer comes near. But now it has a new meaning. It’s when the light bulb comes on upstairs, when something between your ears “snaps” and you suddenly understand.

I can think of three really important times to have a little snap.

The first one is that moment, that second, when we realize how lost we are without a connection to God. The Holy Spirit tugs at our hearts, something happens and we snap to the fact that we’re sinners in need of a savior – in need of the sacrifice Jesus made at Calvary so we could be reconciled to God.

We need to snap again when we take our first few faltering steps on the road to discipleship and come face to face with the temptation to turn back, like so many before us. Things get a little tough. People don’t understand. Maybe the church isn’t quite what we thought it would be. It turns out to be full of human beings with human failings. Horrors, again! But if we snap, we realize that the long-term, eternal view that looks ahead to the streets of gold causes the potholes we’re running into here and now to look far less challenging than we thought.

By now you may be wondering, “Hey, where’s the gorilla we gotta get ridda?” That’s the third circumstance when we need to snap. That’s when you realize something has you by the throat and won’t let you go. It’s more than the elephant in the room; it’s your own personal gorilla. And, as my pastor describes it, that gorilla is holding a choke chain that’s ends at your neck.

Maybe it’s a bad habit or addiction. Pornography has many a believer in its grip. Here’s a surprise for you – when Today’s Christian Woman polled its readers, 34 percent of them admitted to intentionally seeking pornography on the Web. Maybe you’ve been hurt in a bad relationship and just can’t get over it – or worse yet, can’t bring yourself to trust again. Maybe you have an anger problem. If your friends heard how you talk to your children behind closed doors, would they be horrified? Those are gorillas, my friend. And we all have one or more to some degree.

One day you snap. Like Paul in his letter to the Romans, you realize you can’t do it on your own. When you want to do right, evil is sitting in the seat next to you. You love God, but you just can’t win over the real you. That’s when there’s hope. Because that’s when you give it to God and let Him live through you. And the gorilla has to go.

“With the arrival of Jesus, the Messiah, that fateful dilemma is resolved.” Rom. 8:1

Please visit www.GetRiddaDaGorilla.com

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Member Comments
Member Date
Beth LaBuff 09/12/08
I enjoyed "The Message's" paraphrase of the verses from Romans 7. I could relate to the "groovy" since, I'm from that generation. :) Your title is just plain fun as well as thought-provoking!
Colin Swann09/17/08
Wonderful down to earth honesty here. I think this is excellent. I started my work life as a miner down the pit. In Yorkshire, England we called the lunch sandwiches we took with us to work: our snap. I don't think that this snap would have been accepted as being on topic though.

Very interesting piece - thanks!