Monthly Archives: April 2013
Beware of: Terrorists? Of course. Dogs that bite? Yes. Strangers around your children? Absolutely. Falling rocks? If the sign says so. Freshly mopped floors? Lawsuits are messy. False teachers? They are eternally dangerous. Dangerous cliffs? Literally and figuratively speaking.
There are lots of cliffs to be aware of – to be warned about. The Bible is replete with warnings (Mark 13:9, Acts 13:40, 1 Cor. 8:9, 1 Cor. 10:12, Gal. 5:15, Phil. 3:2, Heb. 12:25) and for the good of others and our own good, we should pay attention (Heb. 2:1). Here are three warnings that deserve our attention.
(This should go without saying, but these are warnings that I have to give to my own heart and mind.)
- Beware of yourself. When you encounter an undesirable circumstance, do you always assume the problem is out there, or do you begin with questioning your own heart and motives? Check yourself because you really do love yourself and that makes it hard to disagree with yourself and to see that the problem could be closer than you think. Jesus said in Matt. 24:4, Mark 13:5 and Luke 21:8 to “Look out so that you are not misled.” Sometimes we need to make ourselves look inwardly because we are the greatest danger to ourselves and others. Perhaps just this once, take the advice of Michael Jackson, and begin with the man in the mirror. You have little control over most things, but you you can let the Spirit control you. So start with yourself.
- Beware of people who say everything they know to everyone they know. Begin by warning yourself about yourself, but then be on the lookout for people with diarrhea of the mouth. If you don’t know a person well enough to fully trust them, and they are “sharing” with you everything they know about other people, do you really think they aren’t going to tell others everything you “shared” with them? Heed this wisdom: “When there are many words, transgression is unavoidable (sin is not absent), But the person who restrains his/her lips is wise.” Proverbs 10:19
- Beware of people who will not listen to and submit to others. I didn’t say dismiss them, because they might be right. Jeremiah comes to mind as an example of someone who was flying solo and doing God’s will. Opposition to the majority doesn’t necessarily mean someone is wrong. However, if a person is a part of a biblical community that is indwelt by the Spirit of God, and that community is mostly in agreement and the lone ranger is in opposition with the majority, then beware of that person. Handle them with care. In a community that is trying to submit to God’s word together, individuals in that group ought to be willing to submit to each other, even if there are varying opinions. God has spoken through His word, but God also speaks through His people when His word does not speak precisely to a situation. Beware of people who won’t submit to the authority of God’s people, who are under the authority of God’s word.
By the way, when the non-submissive person doesn’t get their way they usually go somewhere else and to their surprise, find the problem has followed them to their new church, marriage, job, etc. Why? Because they didn’t heed the first warning: “Beware of yourself.”