"Or else" was something Mama rarely said twice. When we heard that tone and those words, we stopped arguing, stopped what we were doing, stopped dawdling and got to it. Now!
People who spend time in the prophets rarely have difficulty understanding the meaning or urgency of repentance. On the other hand, preachers can line up all the Greek words and definitions and illustrations of the way people used those words in New Testament times and still some will find room to quibble. Then, some go into long discussions about "walking in the light" and how one slip does not negate all the years of walking....But hear Ezekiel:
"And thou, son of man, say unto the children of thy people, The righteousness of the righteous shall not deliver him in the day of his transgression; and as for the wickedness of the wicked, he shall not fall thereby in the day that he turns from his wickedness; neither shall he that is righteous be able to live thereby in the day that he sins. When I say to the righteous, that he shall surely live; if he trust to his righteousness, and commit iniquity, none of his righteous deeds shall be remembered; but in his iniquity that he has committed, therein shall he die. Again, when I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; if he turn from his sin, and do that which is lawful and right; ... he shall surely live, he shall not die. None of his sins that he has committed shall be remembered against him: he has done that which is lawful and right; he shall surely live. (Ezek 33:12-16, ASV).
This seems hard to misunderstand. Just as Mama never wanted to execute the unspoken, "or else," neither did God. "Rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto Jehovah your God; for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abundant in lovingkindness, and repents him of the evil. (Joel 2:13) Mama had to bring the "or else" down upon us a few times before we learned to properly react. God does not want to punish, He wants to send mercy and lovingkindness, but we must react when He says, "Or else."
We do not like to think of the "little sins" we do as being "evil ways." We come up with all sorts of arguments and excuses and dawdle about making the changes that God prescribed. We think that maybe all the things we get right will make everything turn out all right. Meanwhile, Paul said, "Or else" to the Corinthians and they exhibited "earnest care" in the matter of their weaknesses and sins, they cleared themselves of the problems, they feared God and were indignant against their sins. Thus, they approved themselves to be pure (2 Cor 7:9-11).
To be a child of God in imitation of Jesus, we must STOP SINNING. It can be done. Satan excuses; God will help. "God will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will make the way of escape, that ye may be able to endure it." (1Cor 10:13 selected).
Even so reckon ye also yourselves to be dead unto sin, but alive unto God in Christ Jesus. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey the lusts thereof: neither present your members unto sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves unto God, as alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. (Rom 6:11-13)