A five-star hotel sat next to a beautiful lake. The back side of the hotel was actually on the edge of the lake. Wide balconies overlooked the water. On the top floors big signs warned hotel guests, “Don’t fish off the balcony.”
Some guests fished off the balconies on the top floors and caught fish. When they reeled them in, the bigger fish flopped against the windows on the lower floors and broke windows. The hotel spent a small fortune replacing broken windows.
At a staff meeting managers brainstormed ways to stop guests from fishing off the balconies. A reservations clerk came up with the solution–they took down the “Don’t fish off the balcony” signs.
Fishing off the balcony stopped. The signs had convicted guests of their disobedience. It was a law and they felt good getting by doing something they knew they weren’t supposed to do. When they realized there was no law against fishing off the balcony, their desire to disobey and rebel, their temptation to sin, to fish off the balcony, disappeared.
The no fishing off the balcony law protected motel guests. It was for their safety.
God’s law is for our protection and benefit. God’s law convicts us of our sin and disobedience. As Paul says,
In other words, if there was no law saying, “thou shalt not covet” Paul could keep on coveting. No problem.
But coveting (breaking God’s law) is harmful to us. Otherwise God would not consider it sin. Envy can be a destructive emotion both mentally and physically, according to MentalHelp.net. “Envious people tend to feel hostile, resentful, angry and irritable. Envy is also related to depression, anxiety, the development of prejudice, and personal unhappiness. That’s why God said, “Thou shalt not envy” and gave us the rest of His law.”
So, the next time you get tempted to fish off the balcony, think again.