• Katie Bock

Sept. 23 - Early Warning Signs

If you were standing on the beach about to jump in the water and you noticed a sign that said “Shark sighted today. Enter at your own risk,” what would you do? There are some exceptions (I’m looking at you, Greg), but most of us would decide to steer clear of the water and not risk being eaten by sharks.

Our lives are full of warning signs that attempt to discourage us from causing harm to ourselves: “No jumping off the bridge,” “Don’t ingest this chemical,” “Never operate heavy machinery on this medication,” etc. We have the option of weighing the risks and deciding if we want to heed the warning or not. In most cases it’s clear what could happen if we disregard the warning, and often that result is injury or death.

The bible is full of warning signs too. Again, we have the option to pay no attention to that advice, though Scriptures tells us what could happen, up to and including spiritual death. Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount includes many of these warnings, such as:

Matthew 5:21-22 You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.

In the shark example, we can choose to wade out into the water. Doing so doesn’t necessarily mean that we will be eaten by sharks, but we’re a heck of a lot closer to being maimed than when we were safely on the beach. Similarly, Jesus tells us that an early warning sign of murder is allowing hatred into our hearts. He warns us not to even become angry with our brother because that is a dangerous step towards even worse consequences.

Take a close look at your heart. Are there any warning signs in the Bible that you have been ignoring? God hasn’t given these warnings to keep us from having fun. He loves us and has provided His advice to keep us from destruction. Heed God’s warnings, always operate in the best interest of others, and safely steer clear of those spiritual sharks.

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