Hebrews 3:13—”You must warn each other every day, while it is still “today,” so that none of you will be deceived by sin and hardened against God.”
Do you remember the first time you disobeyed authority, told a lie, or did something dishonest? It must’ve felt very bad – like the end of the world even. And what about the next time? Well the ‘bad’ feeling still lingered, but this time it didn’t seem like the end of our world. This is what living in sin feels like. At first when we are born again, we are close to God and have a firm relationship with Him. Over time, we take this merciful and faithfully loving relationship for granted. We stray from things that please God. The first time feels like we betrayed God but the next time we are deceived by sin again and slowly we slip into more deception and a hardening of this relationship with God. If we are not careful, it can even take a turn into rebellion against what pleases God. Here is the reason why we are called to ‘warn’ fellow believers when we see waywardness and casuality in their attitude towards God. Yes, it can be spotted a mile away. It shows how vulnerable we are to deception. We talk to ourselves and believe all the lies to cover up the sin that creeps into our lives. Our hearts become hardened when we no longer care about opinions of respected fellow brothers and sisters and when we shut out Godly influences from our lives. In this scenario, pretty soon we (highly respectable people) may end up with a disgraceful life. How many of us take out the time or effort to help a person who builds their heart into darkness and against God? Let’s warn each other!
Secondly, let us be wise enough to receive such warnings with openness. We need to watch our steps – we must make sure there’s no evil unbelief about to trip us and throw us off God’s course. We must keep each other on our toes so that sin doesn’t slow us down in our work for God. If we can only keep our grip on our relationship with God and hear His voice, we will be with Christ to eternity.
Finally – “To one who listens, valid criticism is like a gold earring or other gold jewelry.” (Proverbs 25:12)