“….why shouldest thou destroy thyself?”— Ecc. 7:16
We don’t see it much anymore, but years ago it was common to see “load limit” signs on bridges. Back in the Ozarks I drove over many rickety old wooden bridges that made me wonder if I would make it to the other side. The load limit sign was posted when the the bridge was new or restored and in good shape, but that had been years ago. Now the boards were old, cracked, or rotten, and in some cases boards were missing. It was bad enough to trust the sign, but to intentionally exceed the limit would have been a dumb idea—flirting with disaster. However, some folks do things that are even more foolish. For example–
God has set limits to what we can legally and safely do. We are not at liberty to do as we please. God has given commandments and principles to regulate our conduct. Unbeknown to most people, these are for our own good, to protect us. When God says,”Don’t”, He is actually saying “Don’t hurt yourself”. Sadly He is ignored by most. What they don’t realize is that sin has its own built in punishment. Without God doing anything, sin brings suffering, shame, sorrow, pain, and death. It is impossible for us to sin successfully. There is a payday someday!
Even sinless things can become sinful, thus dangerous, if taken to the extreme. That includes eating, sleeping, working, and numerous other things that call for moderation. We are free to do as we ought, but not free to do as we please. There are many things we are allowed or required to do, but only to a limit. All is well if we stay within the limit, but we put ourselves in danger if we go beyond. Still some people insist on ignoring the warning signs. It’s like they are on a mission to destroy themselves–just as ancient Israel did (Hos. 4:6; 13:9). I would to God we were wiser than they!
Strangely enough, people who do this often end up blaming others or even God for the suffering they brought upon themselves. They created the calamity and then complain about life being unfair–that’s unfair! God has given us everything we need— the Bible as our guide, Christ as our Deliverer, and the Holy Spirit as our Enabler, so we have only ourselves to blame for our failures. When we exceed the limits of what is lawful and ignore God’s warnings we become our own worst enemy, our own destroyer. We are safe only as we stay on the firm ground of God’s perfect will—-it is always right, best, and safest.