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Experiment Shows How the Law Leads to Sin

Robert Cialdini, a researcher and an expert on the theory of persuasion, conducted an experiment at the Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona. The park had a problem, as it made clear on a warning sign:


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August 25, 2014  5:27pm

To the naive observer, it might appear that the signs posted along the trail lead to more stealing of drift wood. However a careful analysis of the situation reveals something totally different. If those who walked the trail had a sincere desire to preserve our wild-lands, they would have gladly obeyed the signs. The problem lies not in the law but in the hearts of the hikers. It is the same in Spiritual things. Paul refers to the law as being intended for life but to him it was death. The problem is never with the law, but in the sinners heart. THE LAW WILL NEVER LEAD TO SIN IN A HEART THAT IS RENEWED BY THE GRACE OF CHRIST. Jesus came to give us a new heart so that the law can beget life, not death in us. Won't you let him put his law in your heart? He loves you so much, and gave Himself to save you, he said "if you love me, keep my commandments." If you really love your Savior, let him be the Lord of your life.

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Charles Wisdom

July 14, 2014  10:48am

There is another possible reason the sign did little to no good: It was not sufficiently forceful; not direct as it should have been. How about this: "It is a Federal Crime to take any portion of the petrified wood from this Forrest. Do not steal; you will be apprehended and fined up to $1,000." Lesson: our attempt to "appeal" to persons will sometime work, but not often. If the problem is truly a serious one, forceful words with specific details are more effective than cleverly expressed information that appeals to a sense of morality.

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