Christian maturity is not a steady upward growth curve.  Instead, Christian growth is an up and down proposition… although I believe it is generally an upward trajectory.

   There are stretches of times we mature in Christ.  We grow in the Christian disciplines (Prayer, Worship, Bible Reading, etc.), then… for whatever reason… we regress in our sanctification (Maybe a better word is “maturity”).  Instead of moving forward, we slip backwards.  There are times when we backslide.  It’s the classic two steps forward, one step back… ten steps forward, two steps back… throughout life.

This happens to the best and most dedicated of God’s family.  It happens to the heroes of the faith, and to those who very few people know of.  All believers have mountain top experiences, that are followed by the deepest of valleys.  Our lives are more like the graph to the right than the one above.  (Note: The graphs are for illustration purposes only)

Examples: Noah… obeyed God to build the ark… then got drunk after the flood. Abram… followed God’s call… then lied about Sari.  Moses… led Israel out of bondage… then sinned by striking a rock to bring forth water instead of speaking to it.  David… was a man after God’s own heart… but committed adultery and murder.  Peter confessed Jesus was the Son of God… then denied Christ three times… then preached at Pentecost… and then was a hypocrite by refusing to fellowship with Gentile believers.  Paul was taken to heaven and talked with Jesus personally… yet wrote that what he wanted to do he didn’t do but what he didn’t want to do he did… that the desire was present but the ability to carry it out wasn’t there.  (Sorry for all the links, just wanted the Scripture references to be available)

In short… even the best of us fail (That means you and me).  We can only repent to God confess our sin to Him.  Our failures are a reminder that we have to trust in God at all times and that even our sanctification is in God’s hands and subject to His will.

Encouragement/Application: Just because YOU fail does not mean your faith has failed nor that The One you trust in will abandon you.  You will have great times of fellowship and growth, but don’t be surprised when you slip… just confess and continue following Christ.  Those who keep following Christ, in spite of their failures, are the ones who are genuinely saved.  For the follow-up post, click here.