I have a small woodworking shop in the corner of my garage. When I work there, I know I need to be “careful”. I’m not that proficient with power tools and realize they can be dangerous. I’m especially wary of the table saw. When I get ready to use it, I say a prayer and ask for God’s protection. I’m very deliberate and careful… I’m not “careless”.
Being careless is not a good trait. If you’re careless, it eventually comes back to haunt you. If I casually walk around with a glass of wine or soda in my hand, I eventually bump into someone and splash, it’s on my new shirt … auuuuugh. If I’m careless in backing the car out of the driveway I eventually bang into something. If I’m careless about checking my schedule, I will eventually miss an important appointment. You get the idea and can add your own examples.
Being careless can cause a lot of problems in our life. Depending on the situation, it can bring deadly effects. The greater the potential for harm, the more careful we should be. I remember reading that Billy Graham was very careful when he traveled for his many crusades and meetings. He was determined to not put himself in any compromised situation that could cause scandal. As a result, throughout his long years of ministry, he never was tainted by scandal…..and the Lord was always lifted up. Franklin Graham said “his father avoided scandal by being transparent and never being alone with women other than his wife.” He was very careful because a lot was at stake.
The greater the importance at hand, the greater should be our care. Protecting our soul from the stain of sin is of the greatest importance and we should “carefully” guard this greatest of treasures. We know the term “occasions of sin” and how they are to be avoided. It takes care, being careful, to avoid the occasions of sin. First we need to identify these occasions and then ask the Lord to show us the strategy needed. Often it’s pretty clear….”the alcoholic giving up his job in the liquor store… the glutton not getting a credit card for the donut shop … not staying up late watching TV and missing my prayer time in the morning. Again, feel very free to add your own examples. The point is that we need to be careful in order to guard the things of importance in our life, like our eternal soul.
So let’s be careful. Let’s guard those things that are of most importance in our life…our relationship with God and our spouse and family and friends. And if we do, we will be very happy… now and forever.