There are some glaringly obvious dangers in a disciple’s life. The sex, drugs and way false teachers roll that we try to terrify the youth group away from. Obvious dangers that also have direct and obvious strategies to confront them.
Perhaps at this point in your discipleship though, it’s not those dangers, serious as they are, that should be your main worry. You’re reading a Christian blog out of your own motivation – you likely have strategies and a lengthening history of victories over the sins that come with hazard tape and flashing red lights.
The real danger, the Jesus-tells-you-to-be-careful-of danger is the insidious influence of Pharisaism. The temptation to maintain outward conformity to a “Christian ideal”, or social state of respectability, while the inward reality of having a heart alive before Jesus dissipates. To keep singing robustly from the hymn sheet whilst the song in your heart fades out. That’s the scary one. Partly because, who would ever call you out on it? I could be performing miracles in his name, whilst having no pleasure in him in my soul – and who other than he and I would know?
At 32 I’d place the odds on me going off the rails completely and beginning to feed a drug habit through people trafficking as fairly long. That possibility doesn’t loom large enough to keep me up at night. Enjoying prominence in my Christian circle, congregants clapping my course, superbly straining out gnats, whilst surreptitiously swallowing camels, my heart hardening all the while. Now that’s the worry. I could sway off to the foreign land like a prodigal, but far more likely is ending up as an embittered and entitled older brother. That’s the danger.
“Be careful” Jesus warned them, “Watch out for the yeast of the pharisees.” Mark 8:15