Too many of us are acquainted with the word, “backsliding,” which, in its purest form, means to lose one’s resolve to follow a chosen path. A recovering alcoholic who re-enters the bar circuit is an example — surrounding oneself by temptation, and resuming behavior that one is trying to overcome, isn’t a particularly successful business plan.
Within Christianity, backsliding applies, theoretically, to believers who no longer walk the narrow path of following Christ, reading His word, listening to His voice — in essence, being His disciples and serving Him as master. I say theoretically, because in the real life of too many people, backsliding is defined not by God but by other human beings, who establish a system of customized rules into determining what is, and isn’t, a genuine walk with God.
What about it? Has someone accused you of backsliding, and you haven’t been able to move forward in your relationship with God because you feel as if you don’t deserve one? There’s some pretty vitriolic “teaching” out there about what it takes to be a real Christian, and if you have been hurt by it — convinced that you’ll never be good enough to deserve God’s grace, please follow the link to my Commonsense Christianity article, What Is Backsliding, and Are You Doing It?
Oh, and by the way, sometimes what another person calls backsliding may be what you call following Christ, because you’re reading what He says in His words, taking seriously about applying it, and no longer fitting into conventional rules of establishment Christianity. You may very well be a Misfit Christian, which isn’t such a bad thing. It’s not easy not fitting in — we all want to blend and merge and be accepted by the general crowd around us — but sometimes the best evidence that we’re on the right road is that there aren’t many people on it with us. It’s too narrow.
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