The Steps of Backsliding according to Christian in Pilgrim’s Progress.
1. They draw off their thoughts, all that they may, from the remembrance of God, death, and judgment to come.
2. Then they cast off by degrees private duties, as closet prayer, curbing their lusts, watching, sorrow for sin, and the like.
3. Then they shun the company of lively and warm Christians.
4. After that they grow cold to public duty, as hearing, reading, godly conference, and the like.
5. Then they begin to pick holes, as we say, in the coats of some of the godly; and that devilishly, that they may have a seeming colour to throw religion (for the sake of some infirmity they have espied in them) behind their backs.
6. Then they begin to adhere to, and associate themselves with, carnal, loose, and wanton men.
7. Then they give way to carnal and wanton discourses in secret; and glad are they if they can see such things in any that are counted honest, that they may the more boldly do it through their example.
8. After this they begin to play with little sins openly.
9. And then, being hardened, they show themselves as they are. Thus, being launched again into the gulf of misery, unless a miracle of grace prevent it, they everlastingly perish in their own deceivings.
Are you traveling along the steps of backsliding?
Do you know others that need to be made aware that they are backsliding or at least moving in that direction?
Has prayer and Bible study faded into the distance?
Are you toying with “little” sins?
Do you pick apart the lives of others:
“They’re not as righteous as they seem to be ….”.
“He ignored me when I said hello last Sunday.”
“They are too judgmental ‘judge not’.”