God, in His word, is straight forward on many topics. However, we tend to veer more toward scriptures and doctrine wrapped in Gods grace and blessings. However, the same God of grace is the same God of accountability. Both of these stem from his love for us. "For the LORD disciplines those he loves, and he punishes each one he accepts as his child.” Hebrews 12:6. We live in a society that conditions and coaches us to think positively and avoid anything negative. As a result of this, we consider anything that makes us feel uncomfortable negative. So much so, more times than can count I hear the terms "Negative" and "Consequence" paired and given a negative connotation. So if it makes us feel uncomfortable it’s negative and a consequence, but if it makes us feel good, it’s a reward and positive. However, following Gods word isn't a matter of feelings, positives or negatives. It's a matter of Holiness and wickedness. Righteousness and unrighteousness. The forgiven and the unforgiven. Because of the culture of positive and negative, the words holiness and wickedness have become flexible and watered down concepts that vary from person to person, depending on their situation and comfort. God tells us in black and white what holiness brings and what wickedness brings. Romans 8:5 tells us "Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit." So with that in mind, God desires us to have an eternal perspective. With an eternal perspective, we cannot view any decisions about what we allow in view of our eyes, what we hear and what we say to be considered meaningless. God, in His word, clearly reminded us that there are consequences for an unrepentant heart. We will be condemned at the time of judgment and we won't be able to commune with the godly. As I look at the structure of verses 1-5, it goes from Good to bad very quickly, but then I thought, that is reality. 1 Peter 5: 8 says "Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour". The enemy comes in prowling and we must be alert to see it. Satan comes very subtly and if we allow ourselves to become comfortable with wickedness and lose the directness regarding the consequences of doing both good and bad we will compromise what we know and value about living holy. We will both water down the meaning of holiness and wickedness. We will lower the bar of holiness and raise the bar of wickedness. At times we will see the wicked succeed and won't see them punished. We must not take that as slackness from God and as an opportunity to compromise. We must stay focused, alert and let God and His word dictate the meaning of Holiness and wickedness. Psalms 11:21 says "Be sure of this: The wicked will not go unpunished, but those who are righteous will go free." We must not allow those around us, the difficulty of trials and emotions to dictate how we define wickedness and what we believe the consequences will be. We are to use the word of God to determine what is righteous and what is wicked. The downfall of man was sparked by a simple question from Satan to Eve. Genesis 3:1 says, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” Once we open to door to reason with God's word, we have now become our own saviors and we are changing God's word to meet our needs and satisfy our flesh. We must focus not only on the great things God is capable of doing because of our obedience to Him and His Grace but discipline for our disobedience to his word to fortify our hearts and minds.