But Rises Up Again

“Help!  I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!”

You’ve seen the commercials.  Often overacted, these advertisements present an elderly person lying on the floor just out of reach of their phone, or in my favorite  one, a man deliberately throwing his cane down the stairs.  Regardless of their quality as commercials, the danger presented is very real for many seniors.  Falling down the stairs when you’re 13 may sprain your ankle.  Falling down the stair when you’re 85 can be devastating.

People generally try to avoid falling down.  Our world is sprinkled with well-intentioned warnings to prevent pedestrians from falling down.  Use handrails.  Step down.  Caution:  wet floor.  Despite all these warnings, we can still trip on stairs, slip on water spots, and fall unceremoniously to the ground.  If you fell and injured yourself in a public place, you would ask for help.  “Help!  I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!”

What bothers me is Christians’ reluctance to admit we’ve fallen spiritually.  We don’t want to talk about sin.  It’s embarrassing and uncomfortable.  Often, there’s an unspoken guideline in many Christians circles:  if you have problems, save it for the counselor.

Thing is we all have problems–of differing kinds, of differing intensities–but still problems.  God calls us to confess our faults to one another in James and in Galatians He calls us to bear one another’s burdens.  He calls us to edify one another and to be honest, not lifted up in pride.  In Philippians, He calls us to build one another up in unity and to be like-minded.

What keeps us from speaking with others about our struggles?  Shame?  Fear of being judged?  Probably it is a combination of factors.  But Christ has made an end to our sin.  He conquered death and sin on the Cross.  “In that He died, He died unto sin once, but in that He liveth, He liveth unto God.  Likewise reckon ye also yourselves dead unto sin, but alive unto God” (Romans 6:10-11).  Rejection?  If we are in Christ, nothing can separate us from His love. “For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature shall be able to separate me from the love that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”–Romans 8:38-39

God’s church should reflect His character and build each other up.  We cannot build each other up if we allow Christians to struggle in isolation.  Sometimes, Christians find themselves at a loss as to what to do with confession.  We want to help those who need it, but maybe feel unqualified to help.  Sometimes, Christians don’t want to open up about sin because we don’t want to “relive” it as it were.  I can’t tell you where the perfect medium is.  All I can do is encourage you to not be afraid to go to someone you trust and ask for prayer.  And if sin is overwhelming your life, don’t be afraid to say “Help.  I’ve fallen and I need help up.”

“When Satan tempts me to despair
And tells me of the guilt within,
Upward I look and see Christ there
Who made an end to all my sin.

Because the Sinless Savior died
My sinful soul is counted free;
For God the Just is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me.”–Before the Throne by Vicki Cook

 

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