07/13/16 Burned with Fire

READING: Proverbs 4-6

More than once in the book of Proverbs, the writer warns against sexual sin — particularly warning against pursuing an adulterous woman. Apparently, the power of a seductive woman is so strong that men need to hear the warnings over and over again: “Do not lust in your heart after her beauty or let her captivate you with her eyes” (Proverbs 6:25). 

In that same context, though, are these words that, while addressed to the arena of sexual sin, surely apply in other areas as well: “Can a man scoop fire into his lap without his clothes being burned? Can a man walk on hot coals without his feet being scorched?” (Proverbs 6:27-28). I don’t know that I could on my own come up with words that more graphically and clearly remind me that if I make unwise choices, I can assume that I’ll get hurt. 

The problem is that no one I know “scoops fire into his lap” assuming he will get burned. Instead, it’s just the opposite: we assume that we won’t get burned, so we choose to take the risk. As a pastor, I could talk many hours about people who played with fire and paid the price. The man who chose not to have a filter on his computer because he was sure he could fight pornography. The college student who socially drank, knowing for certain the alcohol would never take control of him. The woman who graciously listened to her male neighbor’s troubles, wanting to be a “good Christian friend.” The young couple that pushed the boundaries physically, sure they could stop before they went too far. The pastor who looked to the internet for a sermon topic, never intending to plagiarize somebody else’s work. NONE of these folks ever intended to get burned, even though they put the fire in their lap and chose to walk on the coals.  

Sometimes we’re all just dumb. Seriously.  


  • Ask God to show you where you’re playing with fire. 
  • Be aware of any tendency you might have to deny any danger. Don’t be stupid.                

PRAYER: “God, I know I can be really unwise. Help me to hear and heed these warnings.”