Have you ever tripped on a flat surface? Oh c’mon! Don’t act like you don’t know what I’m talking about! You’re walking along the smooth pavement of the local asphalt-paved track, or leisurely strolling the polished concrete floors of the mall, when suddenly,
You catch your balance after a quick double-time-step recovery. What’s the first thing you do after the trip? You look around to see if anyone saw you break stride. The second thing you do is look back at the pavement as if it physically reached up and tapped the toe of your shoe. The last thing you do is laugh at yourself for tripping where there was no obstruction to begin with.
Have you ever backslidden without an obvious temptation? Don’t give me that look! You know what I’m sayin’! You went back to that one thing that kept you bound. But, you recovered pretty quickly, didn’t you? Maybe you jumped back into the word, or revisited church after a brief stint.
The first thing you probably did was look around to see if anyone noticed you slip. You know how judgmental church folk can be. Next, you probably looked back at the thing that caused your slip.
“Pssh, I don’t even know why I did that again.”
Then, you probably laughed at yourself because you know better. Look, don’t be too hard on yourself. Jesus knew we would fall from time to time, during our walk. That’s why he gives us grace.
The truth is, we have a tendency to be harder on ourselves than anyone else could ever be. Sometimes we backslide, and the guilt of our failure keeps us bound in a state of perpetual pause; unable to move forward, past the guilt. Friend, that’s not what God intended for us.
Can you imagine how odd it would look if you tripped over thin air on the walking track, and (instead of continuing on) stopped and stood right there, grief stricken over a simple stutterer step? All you lost were a couple of cool points, not your salvation! If you didn’t fall on your face, keep it moving.
Friend, I trip everyday. No, seriously, I do. Today, I chose to eat beefaroni instead of fasting lunch, like I had originally planned. What can I say; I’m human. I am far from perfect. Occasionally, I trip over smooth pavement. For me, that metaphor comes into play as reality whenever I make a dumb decision for no good reason; something I definitely didn’t pray about first. But, I usually recover. And I know the Lord’s grace is sufficient.
If you’re a new Christian, try not to be too hard on yourself, when you trip. It happens. We do live in a fallen world and none of us are ever perfect. The trick is to watch your step and keep moving forward. Never stop walking.