Last year, about this time, my family and I went through a season of visiting many doctors for many reasons, the most notable of which concerned my dad, who was then, and is now, battling stage four stomach cancer. While dad’s faith has been strong throughout the ups and downs of this process, and while there is much to learn and be encouraged by as one watches his prerogative of worship, submission, hopefulness, and trust, he is not without practical advice to give. I can remember being with him in the hospital shortly after his diagnosis and listening to him tell another brother-in-Christ that one of the takeaways that he wanted to pass on to others was simply this – be diligent with getting your check-ups. Just about any sphere of medical practice will agree with the statement – early detection is key. If you catch something in its initial stages you’re in a much better position to avoid a bigger problem later on. It can be like that spiritually-speaking as well.
Often times it is the most zealous of believers that struggle with getting back up after they fall. For them, falling, in whatever form it may take, feels like debilitating failure. They know the holiness of God (1 Pet. 1:16); they know the price that Jesus paid for their sins (Acts 20:28); they know how serious evil is (Prov. 8:13); and, in light of all that, they can’t believe they made whatever mistake they made.