“The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord...Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down.” (Psl.37:23-24) “For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again.” (Prov. 24:16)
The radio personality was recounting a golf game in which he had recently participated. I was only half listening until he suddenly said something that caught my attention. He was playing unusually well, he said, until something happened that threw him off his stride. But he immediately recognized what the problem was and quickly remedied it. “One thing I’ve learned,” he explained, “is that golf is a game of recovery.” When he said that, I thought to myself, “Actually, life is a game of recovery.” Of course, life is not really a game; it’s dead serious. But if I may, I’d like to draw a parallel.
There are many who are able to maneuver through life quite brilliantly, it would seem; that is, until they stumble or fumble. At that point, they simply crumble. Through the years, I have met numerous people whose Christian lives had withered on the vine because of a past failure. They just could not bring themselves to get back up, dust themselves off, and start again. Whether it comes from pride or laziness or even true heart-felt shame, it really makes no difference; because, in any case, it turns a detour into a dead-end street.
There will always be circumstances that throw us off our spiritual stride. It may only be a misstep, or it might be a full-blown flat-on-your-back crash. Either way, the next move is ours. We can lie there and feel sorry for ourselves, or we can let God do a work of recovery in our lives.
The measure of your spiritual maturity is how long you stay out of fellowship