Here’s a good word from Mike Yaconelli, who writes for The Wittenburg Door:
I live in a small, rural community. There are lots of cattle ranches around here, and every once in awhile a cow wanders off and gets lost…Ask a rancher how a cow gets lost, and chances are he will reply: “Well, the cow starts nibbling on a tuft of green grass, and when it finishes, it looks ahead to the next tuft of green grass and starts nibbling on that one, and then it nibbles on a tuft of green grass right next to a hole in the fence, so it nibbles on that one, and then goes on to the next tuft. The next thing you know, the cow has nibbled itself into being lost.”
Yaconelli then applies his illustration to the problem of Christian backsliding. He writes:
…Backsliders keep moving from one tuft of activity to another, never noticing how far we have gone from home or how far away from the truth we have managed to end up.
Tell me, Christian, when was the last time you looked around and got your spiritual bearings? Could it be that you have nibbled yourself right through a hole in the fence and are currently a long, long way from where God would have you to be? Maybe you didn’t start out with the intention of leaving your God-appointed pasture. Nevertheless, that’s what happened as you continued to nibble your way through life.
I especially like what Yaconelli says about the backslider not noticing how far away from the truth he has managed to end up. Isn’t it amazing how we start to rationalize our sin or explain it away the further we get from walking with Christ? The backslider begins to see scriptural truth more as a dull gray rather than as black and white, and once that rationalizing and explaining away begins, all bets are off as to where that person might end up in life. That’s how a simple case of backsliding becomes a full blown case of rebellion and catastrophe. So please, Christian, take this post as your warning. Stop your nibbling and get back to your pasture today.