Backsliding is almost like a curse word in some Christian circles. What does it mean? The usual context is someone who “goes back to the world” after being involved in church for a while. Usually over a steaming cup of coffee, your voice lowers to a whisper, and you say, ” have you seen kelly? yea girl, she hasn’t been in service for a month. And her Snapchat? WOAH. She’s backsliding“. Its very easy to sit there from your comfortable, blue, front row seat and judge others from a quick insta-story that you have no context for, isn’t it? But what happens when YOU’RE kelly? What happens when you backslide yourself and suddenly you find yourself feeling farther and farther away from God?
Maybe you didn’t realize it was happening at first. Maybe you went out for a brunch date with your friends and that second mimosa turned into four? Then you texted that guy you’ve been swerving for months, Then you’re on a date with him? And he’s saying all those right things and maybe waiting on God doesn’t seem so appealing? Then you repeat this pattern. Again. And next weekend. And one morning you look at your Spotify history and you haven’t listened to a worship song in weeks? You count down the minutes to the end of service and stop showing up all together. Your Bible sits in your back seat and you’re just having fun. You tell yourself that you’re still Christian obviously, and you can quote the classic Bible quotes but you avoid your eyes in the mirror. A heavy weight sits on your heart because you know you haven’t prayed in weeks.
Lets dive in folks. I think it’s very easy to spit out the robotic Christian phrases like “just come back to God’s warm and fluffy embrace.” But the reality is, how do you start? How do you begin to rebuild that relationship with God? You’ve ignored Him for a long time now. Is He still there? Does He still love you even though you knowingly turned away from Him? From my experience, I believe you should start at the root of the Christian faith. Prayer. The first one might be a little rusty, but LEMME TELL YOU, He can’t WAIT to hear from you. His grace is ready to cover you. His forgiveness is ready to flow. Work work work on that relationship. Tell him what you’ve been up to, vocalize your mistakes, ask for His forgiveness, make a choice to choose strength, and accept His boundless grace. From that moment on, re-commit to your relationship. Make a daily choice to be stronger than the enemy’s temptations. That first step is the hardest but with CONSISTENCY you can do it!!!
Sometimes coming back doesn’t feel that great. Shame floods your body. Regret floods your thoughts. The enemy puts your Saturday nights on a repetitive movie reel while you’re listening to a sermon. Don’t let him do that. Honey, the battle is already won. SPOILER ALERT: Jesus wins. His tactics are old and weak and in those moments I take a deep breath and I usually say to myself ” Nah dude, you had me for a second but I’m back where I need to be. I’m going to make you pay for the time you stole from me”.
Surrond yourself with people that truly love God. Fellowship is SO IMPORTANT when you’re coming back. This also means deleting that number that shows up every Friday night around 11pm with a “WYA” or “come thru”. He’s not your friend, there’s nothing that great on Netflix, and honey, he doesn’t just want to cuddle. Delete. There’s also those texts that pop up on Saturday night around 7pm “Girrrrrrl, we’re going to get wastey pants tonight!! Come out its girls night!!”. Can I be so bold to paint a picture? (yes I can, because this is my blog). You’re going to beat your face within an inch of its life, spend all of your money on sugary drinks, take a million blurry snap chats to make sure everyone knows you’re having the time of your life singing to the latest DJ Khlaid song, your feet are probably going to hurt, and your “BFF” will ditch you for Backwards Baseball Hat she met at the bar. You’ve been there. I’ve been there. At the end of the night as you’re holding your shoes and digging through your bag for that last cigarette, you realize maybe I should have stayed home. WHY PUT THIS ON REPEAT?! God wants us to have an ABUNDANT LIFE!!!! Surround yourself with people that make you laugh so hard your sides hurt and love Jesus. People who text you during the week to genuinely ask how you’re doing. People that spread JESUS JESUS JESUS everywhere they go.
One of the most important things to remember when you’re coming back is have patience. Getting back into the groove of the Christian lifestyle is going to persistence, discipline, faith, and strength. The best part? God loves you. He never abandoned you. He was there the whole time. His grace is unbelievable and He wants to draw closer to you. Open your heart and let Him. Let Him work in your life and repair the damage the world has done.