My Aunt Eva is a wonderful lady. I've always liked her and enjoyed her company. And I've known her for years.
When I was a child, I once stayed with her and Uncle Steve while my parents were out of town. We were visiting her parents in Sumter, South Carolina after going to church. There was a pond across the road from their beautiful home. So I asked Aunt Eva if I could go outside to see the pond. "Sure," she warned, "but be careful. Don't get too close to the water. You're wearing a suit and I don't want you to fall in." I assured her I would be safe as I walked out the door.
Across the street I went.
By the water I stood.
And, yep, into the pond I fell.
I'll never forget walking back to Aunt Eva. I was so embarrassed that I didn't consider her warning. She was (and still is) a sweet lady. So she didn't fuss at me or anything. Actually, she smiled and laughed about it. But I knew I should have listened to her.
See, Aunt Eva warned me because she understood things I didn't. She knew that boys can get reckless and not be careful. She probably knew that the soft ground by the water could easily fall into the pond. There were reasons she warned me to be careful.
Her warning was issued because she was looking out for me.
God issues us warnings too. And He does it for the same reason: He lovingly is looking out for us. He cares about us as His children and wants to protect us from falling into sin.
He warns us about things like laziness, bitterness, pride, dishonesty, greed, infidelity, gossip, and impurity for good reasons. An obvious reason is that He is holy and does not want any of His people in sin. But I really think there are additional reasons He warns us. For one, God knows that getting close to those morally unhealthy things will only cause us problems and pain. The consequences can be far more severe than just messing up a Sunday suit. Ultimately, God warns us because He loves us. We matter a great deal to Him, and He wants us to avoid all the problems that inevitably will come with stumbling into sin.
Let's listen to warnings that God gives us. He knows best. He knows things that we often fail to consider. And He is only looking out for our best interest.