7 Reasons Christians Backslide
KEY SCRIPTURES: 1 Corinthians 10:12; Hebrews 6:4-6; Luke 9:63
1 Corinthians 10:12 “Wherefore let him that thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.”
The word Backslide means a description of a person who at one time or point seems very passionate about Jesus and the gospel but has now fallen away. It also means to lapse. Christians that backslide can be termed to be Christians that have known the truth, confess Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour at a point and even walked in the spirit but later the flesh started taking over. They lose fellowship with God. They allow sins to gain ground in their lives and are not even remorseful when they fall into temptation.
Backsliding begins from the heart when a Christian starts giving in to self-interest, old-habits, and old excuses. Wandering of the hearts from God are almost unnoticeable at first. All these habits if not confessed and forsaken after a while will become noticeable in their lives. This will take major importance in their lives, and they began finding excuses to go for them rather than fellowshipping with others who love the Lord Jesus Christ and His church. Reading the word of God no longer takes priority in their lives, they are no longer sensitive to the little sins over which God once broke their hearts, their burden for lost souls waxed cold and no longer show compassion for the things of God. Every Christians who has full assurance of faith, takes heed lest he fall. There is no degree of grace which may not be lost. There are many reasons some Christians backslide and, in this article, 7 out of the various reasons why Christians backslide will be discussed.
- LOOKING AT FORBIDDEN THINGS: Forbidden things are sinful or inappropriate things. As Christians, we need to guide our eyes from the things we look at. When you allow the eyes to dwell too long on an inappropriate thing, the thought is open to dwell on it which stir up strong and unlawful desires. In the case of David in the Bible, he dwells too long on the sight of the woman bathing at the top of the roof, and we know what happened after. Looking at forbidden things for too long tends to open your mental thoughts towards it which will make you fantasize about it. If one doesn’t quickly cleanse your thoughts by the blood of Jesus, one starts to practicalize the unlawful desires which can lead to that Christian backsliding. Guide what you see.
- FEAR OF MAN: Proverbs 29:25
The fear of what man will say can lead to backsliding of some Christians. Some Christians who seem to be hot for God but are overtaken by my thoughts that people will ridicule or desert them when they stand for the truth. The fear of losing all or bringing themselves into unnecessary and unavoidable troubles make them fall back to the world. The cares of the world also contribute to some backsliding.
3. SELF-CONFIDENCE: 1 Corinthians 10:12
Another reason why Christians backslide is overconfidence in their fleshy nature. Some Christians think because they are highly favored by God that they can’t fall into sins or can’t forsake God. They forget to seek the grace of God to uphold them in their Christian race. Some Christians often unconsciously put confidence in their experience, instead of leaning only on the Holy Spirit who is the source of the flow leading to backsliding of such Christians. When one relies on the endowment of grace, strength, wisdom, or success, it is no guarantee that all these endowments will continue unless we depend wholly on the source of which they flow.
4. DIFFICULTIES: When challenges of life occur in the life of a Christian, if not guided and managed well can lead to such Christian looking for solutions in an unholy place thereby leading to backsliding of such from the faith. It is expected that difficulties of life will occur, it could be physical difficulties springing from our own minds, heredity, social pressure, false teachings or daily affairs and it could also be spiritual difficulties like growing in the faith or seeking pardon or living in holiness in this fallen world. To fix one’s eyes on all these difficulties can sap one’s perseverance, weaken one’s faith, distract the mind and draw one away from God. When we looked at our difficulties, we began to sink just like Peter was looking at the strong wave of the sea. As Christians, our challenges and difficulties should draw us closer to God, we should believe he is the reward of those who diligently seek him, and he will guide us to the solution of the challenges and make us victorious in all endeavors.
5. HARSHNESS OF SPIRIT: When one tends to condemn others instead of admonishing in love, this is delicately dangerous for a Christian as it could lead to backsliding. Severe judgment of others is what is liable to be committed by young zealots or narrow-hearted souls just like the Scribes and Pharisees in the bible practicing self-righteousness. Don’t give room for Satan to operate in your as Christians, he will often come with subtle suggestions like rebuking harshly to others instead of correcting in love that brings genuine repentance. Self-righteousness is subtle and tries to slip itself into the highest state of grace, it will teach you to be severe to others under the pretense that you are brave, but one doesn’t know that one is gradually falling from the gospel and fellowship of God.
6. EVIL ASSOCIATIONS: 1 Corinthians 15:33 “Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.”
Evil association automatically leads to destructive habits. The spirit of the world is in enmity against God and as Christians, we should not always feel at home among sinners, inasmuch that we want to gain them for Christ, we should guide our heart and ways not to do their biddings because this could lead to backsliding in a subtle way. Avoid evil associations at all costs, seek for things or people that will edify you. Moving with bad company is very dangerous to one’s Christian stand and it will gradually lead one back to sin. As Christians, we should guide and look at the company we keep at home, work and in our environs, live peaceably with men but do not join their ways or talk that lead you back to sins that you have forsaken.
7. LAZINESS IN STUDYING IN THE WORD: Joshua 1:8
When one is too lazy or busy in medicating on the word of God to develop your spiritual being and knowing the truth about the gospel, one tends to follow any type of doctrine that one encounter and this can draw a Christian away from God leading to backsliding. 2 Timothy 2:15 says study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth, this shows that as Christians, we need to constantly study the word of God so that we can be strong spiritually to walk in the faith and race that is set before us. If we can’t separate the truth from false doctrines, we are heading to backsliding from the faith if not guided.
Follow Jesus’ model for renewing your love for God daily. Remember what it used to be like when you first gave your life to Jesus Christ, your zeal, and passions for the things of God always. Don’t be weary or tired even when things are not going in the way you expected, God is still in the business of saving His beloved. Remember, anything that breaks up connection of the mind with God or interferes with an elevated, quiet refinement of soul is a starting point for wandering.