Helping People Become Like Jesus


If God instructs us to warn each other of the dangers of sin, then don’t you think we should be faithful lifeguards?

Be careful then, dear brothers and sisters. Make sure that your own hearts are not evil and unbelieving, turning you away from the living God. You must warn each other every day…so that none of you will be deceived by sin. -Hebrews 3:12–13 NLT, emphasis added

It’s interesting to me how much the New Testament tells us to warn and not just to teach. This verse in particular reminds me of being on the beach. My family and I love spending time in the ocean, but after spending a lot of hours around it, I’ve learned the waters can be dangerous. That’s why we have lifeguards. When a lifeguard warns the people on the beach of dangerous rip currents, he doesn’t do so to give them a bummer day. He does it to save their lives.

Likewise, when we warn each other, we should do so out of a heart of deep compassion, not from meanness or a sense of superiority. We should care deeply for those we warn.

We don’t warn people in order to shame them but in order to see them enjoying a full life with God. After all, as Paul tells us, the goal of warning others is to help them become more like Jesus.

[Christ] we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus. Colossians 1:28 NLT

The term warning may sound condemning or impersonal, but godly warning is anything but. It is founded in love and has the other person’s best interests in mind.

Think of it from this angle. What if a lifeguard doesn’t warn at all? What if he is so concerned about hurting people’s feeling, seeming negative, or spoiling a day at the beach that he avoids the warnings that would bring protection and benefit? How tragic for the lives that will be lost because of something he didn’t do—and could have done!

What are your thoughts on this? If God instructs us to warn each other of the dangers of sin, don’t you think we should be faithful lifeguards?



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