The warning label read, and I quote, “Failure to read and follow instructions on this ladder may result in injuries or death.” So naturally I read and followed the instructions, right?

Are you kidding? I didn’t even LOOK FOR the instructions. It’s a LADDER, for crying out loud. I’ve been using ladders all my life, and so far without inflicting harm on myself or others. But it did make me stop and think. It would be pretty silly if my family were to hear at my funeral, “He died from using the top of a ladder for a step, even though the directions right there on the ladder specifically told him not to.”

Warnings do us no good if we pay them no heed. This is especially the case with Biblical warnings. Repeatedly God tells us about sin. He gives us lists of specific sins to avoid (1 Corinthians 6:9-10, Galatians 5:19-21, Romans 1:28-31, etc.). He tells us stories about disobedient people “as an example, and they were written for our instruction” (1 Corinthians 10:5-11). He gives us graphic depictions of the penalty waiting for sinners (Matthew 18:8-9, Revelation 21:8, etc.).

And yet people ignore the warnings — even people who claim to love God and respect His word. I suspect the problem is the same as with the ladders. We have declared ourselves competent on the subject. We are in no further need of instruction.

But I would really, really hate to be wrong on this point. Perhaps rereading God’s warnings a few hundred more times isn’t such a hardship after all.

By Hal Hammons via The Final Word 6/28/2010

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