Only a fool would disregard a minefield sign. No one willingly passes through a minefield, especially when there is a warning of its existence. Yet, everyday there are billions of people who disregard the warnings of the Bible that are designed to help us avoid the minefields of life.
The problem with mines is that they do not injure or kill only the person or vehicle that triggers the mine. An activated mine has a destructive radius that immediately impacts the persons inside the circle of destruction, but also impacts all those who know the people inside the destructive sphere of the mine as well as those who see people they don’t even know mangled or destroyed by the mine. One mine can change the lives of hundreds of people in a flash.
The commands of God found in the Bible are not designed to restrict life or happiness; they are designed to preserve life and happiness by warning us of the emotional, spiritual and social minefields found in a fallen and imperfect world. God’s commands are warning signs, that when obeyed, make life safer, better, and more productive. Any moral command of God is there to keep us from hurting our families, our societies, and ourselves. Let’s sample a few.
Do Not Murder – murder destroys individuals and families, degrades society, and puts the murderer and the one murdered into a position of suffering eternal consequences for the action. There is more than one victim in any murder. Even the murderer is a victim of his or her own sin.
Do Not Commit Adultery – adultery destroys families, has significant financial impact on society, degrades all relationships, and certainly negatively impacts the future of those involved in the onerous relationship.
Do Not Steal – stealing disrupts, and sometime destroys, the lives of the victims; and pollutes the lives of the perpetrators. The thief lives in constant dread of being discovered, or grows so callus that other people’s lives have no meaning. Stealing destroys the economy and destroys families and societies. Our cost of living would go down significantly if there were an end to stealing in all its forms.
Do Not Get Drunk – this is not about drinking alcoholic beverages; it’s about losing control of your behavior due to excessive drinking and letting your lack of inhibition get you into trouble. Ask the families of those who have been killed by drunk drivers; or the families of convicted or dead-in-accident drunk drivers who have lost their freedom, their savings to legal bills and lawsuit settlements, their incomes, their self-esteem, or their lives. Ask the drunks and their families how it feels to be homeless, poor, or abused. There is no victimless disobedience of God’s commands.
Think of Others as Better Than Yourself – on the surface this looks like a mild problem, but in reality, disobeying this command is one of the most destructive behaviors in any society. When a person puts all others behind them in all decision-making and in all behaviors, it results in a total breakdown of personal relationships, families, and societies. This form of pride puts us center stage and the whole world exists for our pleasure, regardless of how it impacts others. Just take a look at any despot and the countries they have ruined, and you will see the results of disobeying this command; or take a look at any family where one person rules and all others exist to make the one happy, when if fact there is no happiness in such families for anyone.
No Sex Outside of Marriage – the health costs alone make this one important, not to mention the exclusion from pain and guilt as well as the negative relationship consequences a few minutes of self-indulgence in illicit sex will bring.
Just like an activated mine, every broken command of God triggers destruction. God loves us and wants us to avoid the minefields of life and the destruction they bring. He has instructed us of all the risks in life that will impact our families, our societies, and us. There will always be those who will plant minefields. There will always be those who love the trill of tiptoeing through the minefields. And there will always be those who will seek destruction or cause destruction by encouraging people to enter the minefields, known or unknown.
God’s commands are the warning signs that help lessen the impact of those who would destroy us. God’s demand for obedience is not in place to make us miserable; it’s in place to preserve the lives and health of our families, our societies, and ourselves. The next time you are tempted to step on a mine, think of the consequences, and then just don’t do it. Heed the warning signs, turn around, and go another way.
Blessings!David Watson Irving, Texas