One night not too long ago, the noise of neighborhood dogs barking woke me from a deep sleep. I was groggy, but my first thought was: “Why are all the dogs barking?”
There had been a few burglaries in the area, so our neighborhood was on alert for unusual activity. I got up and checked to make sure the doors were secure. Then I peeked out the front and back doors looking for activity but didn’t see anything. I shrugged my shoulders and climbed back into bed. False alarm. All’s well. We’re safe, I thought.
Silly as it may sound; as I drifted off to sleep, I thought that people should be like barking dogs – sounding the alarm for one another at the hint of danger. Danger comes in many forms: misplaced priorities, unhealthy relationships, addictions, etc. And sometimes because we’re too close to a person or situation, we lose perspective, miss the warning signs and many times find ourselves in a mess.
We need family and friends who are willing to say to us, “I’m worried about you. I’m worried about your kids. I don’t think your in a healthy situation.” And when we recognize warning signs in the lives of people we care about, we must be willing to step out on a limb and say, “Be cautious, take a step back, or get help.” Sometimes it feels risky. Sometimes it’s painful. But hearts and lives can be broken if we fail to sound the alarm for one another.
We must wave the red flag for our fellow Christians. We need to be barking dogs warning the people we care about of danger.
“But if you do warn the righteous man not to sin and he does not sin, he will surely live because he took warning, and you will have saved yourself.”
– Ezekiel 3:21 (NIV)
“Father, please help me to be like those barking dogs, warning my family and friends of dangerous situations and people. Help me to have the courage to stand against sin and reach out to those in need. Allow me to pray for my struggling loved ones, including…”