Food for Thought: Watch for Warnings
by Ardith Hoff
A state trooper pulled over a woman for going 15 mph over the speed limit. After he wrote her a ticket, she asked, "Don't you give out warnings?" He replied, "Yes ma'am, they're all up and down the road. They say, 'Speed Limit 55.'" Reader's Digest, June 2003, p.69
We tend to see what we want to see and hear what we want to hear. We all have a great capacity to ignore warnings. Our doctors warned us not to gain too much weight, our dentists warned us to floss and brush frequently. Our mothers warned us not to take up with the wrong crowd. Our pastors warned us to keep our words honest and civil and our thoughts and actions pure.
The Bible warns us not to fall into temptation unawares. God doesn’t seek perfection from us, but rather maturity in spiritual matters. We need to be mindful of the temptations that creep into our lives unexpectedly. God’s warnings aren’t meant to condemn; they are meant to help us grow up so that we can be effectively used in building God’s kingdom on earth.
As Paul said to his disciples: "Therefore be on the alert, remembering that night and day for a period of three years I did not cease to admonish each one with tears.” Acts 20:21
And Peter also reminded his followers: “You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men and fall from your own steadfastness.” 2 Peter 3:17
We too need to be on guard against being inattentive to the warning signs all around us so that we do not fall into situations that cause us to ignore what we know is right.
“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to humanity. God is faithful, and He will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation He will also provide a way of escape so that you are able to bear it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13