“But if a righteous man turns from his righteousness and commits sin and does the same detestable things the wicked man does, will he live?” (Ezek. 18:24)

Nothing hurts as bad as hearing that a friend, neighbor, or even close family member who once served Christ has returned to a life of sin. Perhaps he or she was only a believer for a short time and not rooted deeply in his or her faith. On the other hand, some people have walked with Christ for a number of years before walking away from Him. Why do people slip back into a life of sin?

Some fail to grow a deep spiritual life. When Bible reading, prayer, and fellowship with other believers are neglected, the believer’s “roots” don’t reach deep enough to hold Him steady.

Others let their guard down against “small” sins. No sin is truly small. Your willingness to let seemingly minor things remain in your life can only lead to bigger problems down the road. Still others become disillusioned. A long, painful disappointment can tempt you to question everything you believe in and why you follow the Lord.

Pray for backsliders to realize everything they have lost by going back to their former life, and that they will return to serving Christ. And just as important, watch your own spiritual life for early warning signs that you are drifting away from Him, and avoid the temptations that Satan places in your path.

Make time with Christ your daily priority.

Paul Zinter serves as a substitute teacher and enjoys writing, bread making, and teaching at his local church.

© 2017 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.