Falling is hazardous to our health, often causing injury and sometimes even death. We fall many times in life; as toddlers learning to walk, as youths playing sports, and as adults in our homes. Falling is especially dangerous as we get older, when our gait falters and our bones are brittle. But we can also fall spiritually. Why do we fall, and what can we do to prevent it?
Have you ever had an “idiopathic drop attack”? That’s medical jargon for a sudden fall with no known cause. Most of the time, we fall because we carelessly or clumsily trip over something, or slip on a slick surface. Quicker than we can think, we are on the floor, the pavement, or the ground. Usually we suffer no real injury—other than embarrassment—as we quickly pick ourselves up, hoping it wasn’t noticed.
We won’t cover falling off a ladder or chair, or foolishly trying to stand on something even more unstable. These are easily avoidable falls, if one acts with care. We’ll instead address ways to avoid disastrous physical mishaps.
Many businesses, schools, and government entities complete risk assessments to prevent falls and associated injuries, protect employees and customers, and avoid expensive liability and litigation. We also can take personal steps to reduce the risk of falls. Stairways should have nonslip surfaces and handrails, as well as sufficient lighting. Throw rugs are notorious for causing falls. Some types of shoe soles are better on certain floors than others. We should exercise to maintain muscle tone and strength, and otherwise maintain our health. We should be cautious when suffering illness, and be aware of the side effects of any medications we are taking.
More importantly, what steps can we take to avoid falling in spiritual matters? The Bible contains many precautions and warnings, along with some remedies.
What are some causes of spiritual falls? “He who trusts in his riches will fall…” (Proverbs 11:28). People make fortunes and lose them overnight, currencies collapse, and thieves steal. Riches are not to be trusted. Don’t “fall” for riches.
Another cause of spiritual falling is pride. “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18). 1 Corinthians 10:12 offers a fall-prevention tip: “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.” Don’t let pride take you for a tumble.
Another “spiritual tripping hazard” is simple disobedience. Like little children disobeying a parental warning, we are foolish if we disobey our Father’s loving commands. He gave them to protect us from falling and harming ourselves. Hebrews 3:12 gives a warning against having an “evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God….” Many Israelites died in the wilderness, failing to enter the Promised Land. We are warned to “be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall after the same example of disobedience” (Hebrews 4:11). Don’t fall for unbelief and disobedience.
Finally, blindly following others can really bring us down. Jesus warned about those who are “blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch” (Matthew 15:14). There are many distorted and twisted teachings—and teachers—in the world, and “he who is perverse [twisted, crooked, distorted] in his ways will suddenly fall” (Proverbs 28:18). Don’t fall for the perverse teachings of blind guides.
A related warning is found in 2 Thessalonians 2:3: “Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first….” We must be on our guard against those deceivers. To avoid falling for deception, know what God really says.
Falling is dangerous to physical and spiritual health. God “is able to keep you from stumbling [“falling,” King James Version]” (Jude 1:24). Don’t fall away, or fall for rebellion against God. Read “The Great Rebellion Against God” at TomorrowsWorld.org today!