This is not an article that defines backsliding with a simple answer. Rather, it is one that is asking questions, and interrupting our presumptions about spiritual things.
On the surface-Backsliding implies that something or someone is pushed/set back, off track, or somehow, something has gone wrong. It connotes that one must “make up ground” once backsliding has happened. One should avoid or prevent it. It is not the “best for us.” But, perhaps we can take this definition to task, and investigate further…
So, I ask: Is backsliding used as a term for other things? Is it a nicer way to say rebellion? Is it a more pleasant way to say, “my heart is not as loyal,” or “I’m doing my will, for now” ?
What if backsliding is actually not a backwards motion at all, for some. Could this be true? Perhaps the term is a misnomer?
Could it be part of the journey that takes on the appearance of wrongheadedness, doubt, or bad judgment?
And is backsliding the same as “going astray,” or is it something different?
I was thinking about this a lot because I see a tendency for Christians to label things as all good or all bad. Tough times, like a period of dark night of the soul, does not feel pleasant. Many can mistakenly name something such as this, something it is not. At times, the Christian may not be going backward, but ever deeper into the love and understanding of God, and will come out on the other side, strengthened and changed.
I put the question out there: How do you see it? Does it matter? If not, what does?