Underestimation occurs when we make faulty assumptions. We assume something is harmless when it is not. We disregard warnings that signal potential dangers and pitfalls. We are too casual and too self-assured when we’d be better served by caution. We take unnecessary risks. And we find we are in over our heads, sucked under by the unexpected, and ill prepared for the situation. When we put our confidence in things that are weak, we disregard the destructive potential of that which is stronger. The best way to avoid underestimation is by taking heed.
For spiritual safety, there are a few things the New Testament tells us to heed.
- Matthew 24:4 “And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.” Be on the lookout for deception.
- Mark 4:24 “And he said unto them, Take heed what ye hear: with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you: and unto you that hear shall more be given.” Be careful what you listen to and what you have to say. It could come back to haunt you.
- Mark 13:33 “Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.” Pay attention to the hour. Jesus could return for you sooner than expected, and you want to be prayerful and ready for that return.
- Luke 8:18 “Take heed therefore how ye hear: for whosoever hath, to him shall be given; and whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he seemeth to have.” Listen up! You need to be serving God with what you’ve been given.
- Luke 11:35 “Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness.” Warning! Make sure you’re filling your life with light, not darkness!
- Luke 12:15 “And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.” Be alert! Don’t get your eyes on stuff. It’s temporary.
- Luke 21:8 “And he said, Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them.” Be aware! Some people look like they’ve got the real thing, but they don’t.
- Luke 21:34 “And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.” Watch out! The pleasures and the cares of life can pull you under unexpectedly.
- Romans 11:21 “For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee.” Careful! Don’t start thinking you deserve salvation. God’s mercy has saved you.
- 1 Corinthians 10:12 “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.” Caution! Don’t put confidence in yourself! Pride will wipe you out every time.
- 1 Timothy 4:16 “Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.” Prepare! Focus on what’s important now so you and those you love can be saved!
- Hebrews 2:1 “Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip.” Stay mindful! You can let go of the valuable, and it will cost you dearly!
- Hebrews 3:12 “Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.” If you don’t watch out you can walk away from the God who loves you.
Giving heed renders the threat of underestimation powerless and thwarts its ability to sabotage our spiritual journey. We are equipped, prepared for smooth floating as well as any unexpected turbulence we might encounter. Tragedy is avoided, and laughter can echo against the canyon walls of this grand adventure called life.
Tip/Tidbit: What areas of Scripture or what areas of your life do you need to pay more attention to today? Don’t take today for granted.