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Lest we fall!
- Jacob Ninan
The greatest of saints is but a short step away from a fall. Apart from Jesus, the world has not yet seen anyone who hasn't fallen after he reached some particular stage in life! The mighty apostle Paul, almost towards the end of his life, lost his cool when the high priest asked someone to slap him (Ac.23:2,3). But unlike many others who pretend such things never happen to them, Paul was very realistic about himself (Ro.7:18,19). He is the one who has warned us to be careful how we 'stand' because we can fall very easily (1Co.10:12).
Some people seem to think only of gross sins as sins, and call common sins of words, behaviour and attitudes as human weaknesses. But God will want us to give an account for every word we speak (Mt.12:36) and our motives and intentions too (He.4:12,13). Some people call their sins as mistakes and imagine those are not serious. Some take comfort in the fact that they are active in church, not realising that God looks at the heart more (Re.2:2-4), and some are even 'dead' in God's eyes while they take pride in their name before people (Re.3:1). Some people even claim they are in Christ and God looks only at Christ and not at them, making this an excuse for their lives!
How different things would be if we are always honest with ourselves and with the Lord, recognising at each stage where we actually stand! Then every time we make a mistake, the Lord would alert us (Is.30:21), and we can confess our sins (1Jn.1:9), learn from our failure and do better next time. The Lord knows we might fall, and He has already made provision for us to go back to Him (1Jn.2:1,2). It is if we imagine we are not going to fall (Mt.26:35), that we will taste bitter failures again and again.
We need not give up even if we have fallen, even if we feel there is no hope for people like us. The enemy of our soul will be there to try and make us give up, but the secret of our victory is to hold on in faith to our Saviour who has given Himself to us, who will not lose us at the end (Re.12:10,11). It pays to be honest before Him, not trying to cover up our failures, or to pass the blame to someone else, but to accept our responsibility for being proud, not being careful and not asking Him for help (He.4:15,16).
When we fall, and receive forgiveness, it is not as if we can go on as if nothing happened. We suffer corruption every time we sow to the flesh (Ga.6:7,8), and we will have to deal with that for a long time. But we can also learn some humility and fear of God from our failures which can help us to be more careful in the future. We can also understand how frail and fragile we are, and show more compassion and tenderness with the other people we have to deal with. So God brings out something good even from our failures (Ro.8:28).