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Pointers along the way #68

Why do we backslide?
- Jacob Ninan

I am using 'backsliding' to mean slipping down from the level of love and devotion towards Jesus and the intimacy to which we have come with Him (Re.2:4). In other words, backsliding is a cooling off in our relationship with Jesus. If we don't watch out at this point, we may finally end up going back into sin, worldly ways and even losing our salvation.

I want to list below some common reasons why we start backsliding. The list is not exhaustive.

* When we feel disappointed with God. If a prayer is not answered, or when we wonder why God has allowed something terrible to happen to us or a loved one, it is natural to feel disappointed. But that is no reason to give up on God. On the contrary it is the time for us to draw nearer to God and get to know Him and His ways better.

* When we feel envious of worldly people. When we watch worldly people 'enjoy' themselves, 'prosper,' 'rise' in position or fame, we wonder why we shouldn't too. Soon our thoughts get occupied with how we too can enjoy such things. We forget that their fun and prosperity are lined with sin and compromise, and that they are on a slippery way to destruction (Mt.7:13;Ps.73:18).

* When we are tired of our self-denial and sacrifice. The thought may come into our mind that in all our seeking to live for God we may have been a bit foolish to miss out on many things we could have enjoyed. The devil tells us that ministry is fine but we also need to have some fun. God tells us not to grow weary in doing good but to continue in faith (Ga.6:9;1Co.15:58).

* When we want to cover up some sin. If we do this, it will slowly harden our heart and break our connections with the Lord (Pr.28:13).

* When we love someone or something more than God. When some human relationship, position or thing becomes so important for us that we are willing to disobey God, what we lose is our relationship with God. Let's not imagine that God will wink His eyes over it.

* When we are double-minded. If we have not made up our mind to seek God and His righteousness first, backsliding is not far away.

* When we are prospering. We tend to forget God when things are going well and we don't find any particular need for God (De.8:11-14).

The best way to avoid backsliding is to be constantly seeking for more of God.