I never want to be run-over by a lawnmower!

sharp, cutting,
jagged gashes,
violently ripping steel,
tearing, bending, breaking
gashes where the spinning mower blade pierced through metal
 Last summer my son ran-over his little sister's shovel.

I gathered the kids to show them what was left and warn them of getting close to something so dangerous.

Wide-eyed and speechless, they imagined what could happen to an arm or leg eaten up and spit out by the mower.
the handle was ripped out, bent, and thrown clear across the yard
Warnings.  Rules.  Laws.  Suggestions.
As kids, and as grown-ups, we hate to be told what to do.   So, we choose the path of  "personal experience", aka "learning the hard way". 
where the handle had once attached
 As loving parents we want to protect and warn our children about what could wound and scar them, and so does our Heavenly Father.   But, above all else, in our pursuit of happiness, we be don't want anyone to preach to us, "thou-shalt" and "thou shalt not".  And before you  assume I'm about to unleash a sermon on some obviously relationally detrimental "sin" (like adultery, pornography, fornication), consider a few of these disregarded commands:
  • Speak the truth in love.
  • Be kind to one another.
  • Be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry
  • Do not let the sun go down on your anger.
  • Forgive as God has forgiven you.
  • Let go of rage, bitterness, and malice.
  • Do not provoke your children to anger.
  • Honor your father and mother. 
  • Do not lie.
  • Do not covet. 
  • Love your brother.
  • Love your neighbor.
  • Love your enemy. 

the back side of a now useless shovel
If we could see the future and the destructive result of ignoring God's warnings, how our sins (harsh words, impatience, white lies, broken promises, gossip, greed, and pride) are damaging our relationships, we would stand wide-eyed and sobered with the knowledge, and we would think twice before we called any sin "small".

If we really knew what we were doing, I am certain, we would be more careful with people, more gentle, more loving.  We would look to the Bible and seek to do things God's way!
the handle: torn and bent, now rusted from the paint being stripped away
We can't go back and "undo" our choices, but there is hope for repairing the damage that has been done.

"But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed."  Isaiah 53:5

There is hope and victory, healing and freedom in Christ.

We all have our "weaknesses", and we are all tempted.  The things that tempt me may have no lure to you, and vice versa.  But, "No temptation has seized us except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let us be tempted beyond what we can bear. But when we are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that we can stand up under it."  (1 Cor. 10:13)

We don't have to give in to selfishness, impatience, or any other temptation, and we have God's Word, the Bible, as a guide, not to annoy us and hamper our fun, but to bless us and keep us from what will ruin our lives.