One would come away with the impression that cheating wives and unfaithful husbands was the norm were they to watch most television “dramas” or soap operas. Desperate Housewives, Sisters, “Big Brother”, or any countless number of afternoon dribble, all display fooling around as though it is expected and often lauded.
The wisdom writer says that there is absolutely no way you can “carry fire next to your chest and not get burned”, or walk on hot coals and not expect your feet to be scorched (Prov. 6:27-28). Furthermore, I would suspect that anyone who conducts themselves in such a manner as to violate their marriage pledge would certainly confirm those statements. Yet it happens everyday, somewhere, with someone.
Our pastor the other evening was telling us about a news story where a 65 year old woman shot another woman in their church because she thought the other woman was spending too much time with the pastor – a man she was “sweet on.” Go figure!
Now, lest we isolate this premise of “playing with fire” to simply sexual circumstances, it could be applied to any number of things; lying, cheating, stealing from the company we work for, false pretense, etc. There are a multitude of character flaws that could cause us to get burned.
They say that if a cat steps on a hot burner, it will never do it again. But guess what, it would never step on a cold one either, because it could not tell whether the burner is hot or cold unless it takes the step.
Our new life in Christ does not preclude our playing with fire. Nor does it exclude our being burned. The enemy, the devil, “prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour (1Peter 5:8).” And guess what? It might be you, it might be me, it might be your brother or sister in Christ.
I am not certain if the origin of our popular phrase, “play with fire and you’re gonna get burned” comes from these verses in Proverbs. What I am certain of – fire burns! Hot coals will, without a doubt, scorch your feet. I prefer to avoid the flames!