Read the signs!

Social media has given a voice to people who take great pleasure in being obnoxious.  Space fails to provide a comprehensive proof of this concept; for our purposes here, I will limit my frame of reference to those who take pictures of themselves doing precisely what a sign is instructing people not to do.  Walking on the grass, swimming, smoking, the situational prohibitions run the gamut.  And the existence of the sign more or less implies that the behavior is not necessarily unlawful; people are simply asked to choose a different time and/or place.

Nope.  “Look at me!  I’m a rebel!  I break rules!  No one can tell me what to do!”  As the saying goes, it’s all fun until someone gets eaten by an alligator.

I’m sure some rules seem completely arbitrary.  It is easy to convince ourselves that one person (i.e., me) breaking them will not cause any significant harm to anyone or anything.  And every time someone crosses the line safely, he or she emboldens us all to “live on the edge” ourselves.  After all, the whole point of the sign is to keep us from enjoying ourselves, right?

Certainly God’s “signs” are seen that way.  He is the great fun-killer, and the only path to true satisfaction is by sneaking around behind His back and violating His rules.  Well, I just don’t see it that way.  Perhaps it is the father in me; after all, I have years of experience trying to convince young ones that they imperil their future well-being, and even their immediate safety, by pursuing the course of their own choosing.

Pleasure is fine in its place, but it cannot be a substitute for godliness (Ephesians 5:10).  Recreation is fine in its place, but it cannot be a substitute for work (2 Thessalonians 3:6-10).  And God gives us signs.  Demas is a sign for the first (2 Timothy 4:10); the sluggard is one for the second (Proverbs 24:30-34).  They are given to us as a caution.  This path is hazardous.  Choose a better one.  Or, proceed at your own peril.  But don’t blame an inattentive Father when you get yourself in over your head in sin. 

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