Sharks kill people with one bite. Their large mouth and rows of sharp teeth can destroy their prey quickly and easily.
Piranhas are small fish. They do not kill their meals in one bite; instead, a group of them will attack their prey together, tearing it apart one little piece at a time. They usually live on insects and dead animals, but they have been known to attack larger animals and even humans in extremely rare cases.
While I do not want to die either way, I have seen this as an analogy for a life of faith. We live in fear of sharks while swimming with the piranhas. The attacks on our soul rarely come from one big event; instead, they happen one small bite at a time.
When writing to the Church in Ephesus, Paul tells them to put on the full armor of God. One part of this outfit is a shield. He says the shield of faith “with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.” (Ephesians 6:16 – NIV 2011) We might picture large arrows like modern archery equipment, but the reference is more to tiny darts. These little darts were often thrown by hand and had two purposes. One was to set the attacker’s shield on fire if it was made of wood. Two, they find any small open areas and try to penetrate, causing injury. I find it curious that he does not mention evil having a bomb or a bazooka. The image is a small weapon over a big one, or in other words, piranhas over sharks.
When evil attacks your heart, mind, and soul, it rarely comes in a catastrophic event. It is always one little bite or one small dart at a time. Evil comes at you with temptation, doubt, wrath, lust, despair, vengeance, problems, and trials in our lives. Paul tells us to hold up the shield of faith and stop them. Faith gives us the strength to stand against evil with courage.
Today and into the near future, you will be attacked in ways meant to injure you in small ways. Evil does not need a big weapon to make you fall; it just needs you to let your guard down.