When We Fall

Many years ago when I was the commencement speaker at Atlantic Union College, the platform party had to weave its way through the college orchestra. When I stepped onto the platform I heard someone calling to me, “Sir, sir, my music stand.” Unknowingly I had snagged his stand on my academic robe and had dragged it up the stairs onto the platform. It wasn’t my finest moment.  Then there was the occasion when performing my first baptismal service in a church where I was the new pastor.  I thought I had descended all the stairs into the water.  I had not.  The next step found me face down in the water in front of two thousand people.  Don’t you just love moments like that?  They are better when they happen to someone else?

When most people fall down in front of an audience they are embarrassed and try to laugh it off.  But there is another kind of falling that isn’t so funny.  Paul speaks of it in I Corinthians 10.  “So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!” He obviously isn’t talking about falling into a baptistery.  The real danger isn’t the big sins we easily recognize.  It is those subtle defects of character.  Too often we only think of sin as breaking one of the Ten Commandments.  The really dangerous sins are the insidious moments of smug moral superiority, justifying being selfish, jealousy of another’s gifts or never having enough when we already have plenty.

Here’s a Good News Bulletin. Just as a parent doesn’t expect their one-year-old not to fall down so Jesus knows we are going to fall.  But like a great parent He is there to pick us up.

Written by Roger Bothwell on June 18, 2014

Spring of Life, PO Box 124, St. Helena, CA 94574