Spiritual Neglect

Keith Knight

"But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first.  Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first."  Revelation 2:4-5 (ESV)

One of the foundational elements to living a victorious Christian life is being committed to growing spiritually in your walk with God.  Unfortunately, not every believer commits to growing spiritually, or experiences God’s power to live their life as God intended.  And the moment you begin to neglect your spiritual growth is the moment you begin to decline.  When we see this spiritual neglect and stagnation happen to someone we know and love, it not only hurts, but is very sad.  Maybe you know of someone who has completely abandoned their faith, who is living a sinful lifestyle and has turned their back on God.  The person’s actions, behavior and conduct are not normal, very uncharacteristic and anything but Christ-like.  This type of person is known as a backslider.

A backslider is someone who relapses into bad habits.  A backslider is a person who falls back into wrongdoing after an attempt to act in a better way.  I’m convinced that some Christians are backsliding and are not even aware of it. Compromise has set in and they do not even realize it.  The reality is that backsliding happens subtly and gradually happens over time.  No one plans to backslide.  It’s much like an addiction.  People don’t wake up one morning a say, “I want to be an alcoholic.”  A person might have a social drink occasionally and before long a subtle change takes place.  The occasional social drink turns into a regular occurrence and before long into a bad habit, a coping mechanism that leads to being an alcoholic.

But God is gracious!  God says that if we have backslidden we can repent.  We can feel remorseful about a sin or past actions, ask for forgiveness, change our ways or habits and turn back to Him.  Jeremiah 3:22 says, “Return, faithless people; I will cure you of backsliding.”

The reality is that each of us are either growing in Christ, or were sliding backwards.  We are either progressing or we are regressing.  We can’t live in the past and rest on our laurels.  I challenge you to stay alert and guard your heart because the moment you put your walk with Jesus Christ into neutral, you will find yourself going in the wrong direction and backsliding.

My question to you today is this…

Are you committed to growing spiritually in your walk with God?
Are you currently backsliding, or are you growing in your walk with God?
How can you help a family member or friend that is backsliding in their walk with Christ?

Spiritual neglect leads to a slippery backslide and eventual sin…
Commit to grow spiritually!  Connect with God!  Read your Bible!  Pray!  Humbly serve Him!

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