The Truth About Warnings
by Stephanie Olson, Set Me Free Ministries Co-founder
You've all read them–the warnings that companies put on their products to protect those who are … well, less gifted with intelligence.
Here are a few of the warning labels:
● Do not use while sleeping. (on the label of a hair dryer)
● This product not intended for use as a dental drill. (on an electrical rotary tool)
● Caution: do not spray in eyes. (on a container of underarm deodorant)
● May irritate eyes. (on a can of self-defense pepper spray)
● Caution: Remove infant before folding for storage. (on an infant stroller)
Okay, what in the world happened to require these companies to put such ridiculous labels on their products? One can only imagine.
But here's the one warning that has always made me laugh the hardest:
● Never iron clothes while they are being worn. (the label on an iron)
But can I be honest with you for a moment? There have been several times that I have thought, Boy, I just need to iron this one shoulder that the hanger made bumpy so it will lay funny. How bad would it really be if I just put the iron on my shoulder for a second? Okay, I know what you're thinking. That's exactly why I didn't do it.
But the truth is it seemed easier to do it that way–you know, take the easy way out.
As I thought about those warning labels, especially the one that I almost didn't heed, I realized that sin can be just like that. I mean, to us the warnings in the Bible sometimes seems antiquated and silly. Really, God? Those rules were for back then, right? Certainly they don't apply to me today.
But they do apply to me. Just as each of the products listed above was created for a very distinct purpose and isn't suited for any other use, so we were created by God for a distinct use and aren't suited for any other.
It seems obvious to us that it might be a bad idea to fold a stroller before removing the baby or, yes, even iron something while it's still on your body. Likewise, it is obvious to God that sin will always lead to death (For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Rom. 6:23) even when that sin seems like it couldn't possibly injure us in any way.
God wants the absolute best for us and He says in Jeremiah 31:3, "The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying: “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you."
So, the truth about warnings? The truth is, although the Bible is a warning label of sorts, it's much more than that. The Bible is God's love letter to us.
Your word is a lamp to my feet
And a light to my path.
~ Psalm 119: 105