The foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.
1 Corinthians 1:25
The Cobra Effect
Back in the 1800’s, the city of Delhi, in India, had a troublesome problem with the poisonous snake known as the cobra. The problem was that the colonial authorities thought that there were too many of them. And so the government announced what seemed to be a wise solution to the problem. It announced that there would be a bounty paid for each dead cobra that someone brought in. At first it looked as though the solution was a wise one, as people began to bring in dead cobras by the dozens.
Over time, however, the authorities discovered that people had actually begun to breed cobras in order to bring them in for the money. When that happened, the government discontinued the program. When the bounty program stopped, however, people simply released the now-worthless snakes, thus making the cobra population larger than ever. This came to be known as “The Cobra Effect.” The Cobra Effect describes any wise-sounding solution that, in reality, makes matters worse.
Deep within me there is the strong assumption that I am the solution to my problems—that if I can only get the right information or the right tools or the right method, I can create a life that has meaning, purpose, and fills the void in my soul.
Sooner or later, however, the Cobra Effect will kick in. Sooner or later, looking to myself for the solution will only make matters worse.
That’s why the answer is Jesus. Only the blood of Christ can cleanse me from the guilt of my repeated failures. Only the perfect life of Christ can cover me in the blanket of his holiness. Only his Spirit can empower me to see clearly—to see that the real Solution lies outside of myself. The real solution is found in Christ.
Lord Jesus, by the power of your gospel send me a rich measure of your Spirit. Empower me to see that my solution is you. Amen.