[forthright] Wandering Away, Turning Back

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From: Forthright Magazine <ba@...>
Date: Mon, 12 Jul 2004 14:19:39 -0500
Forthright Magazine
http://www.forthright.net
Straight to the Cross

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Today's Prayer: Through a glass darkly
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COLUMN: Final Phase

Wandering Away, Turning Back
by J. Randal Matheny

"My brothers, if one of you should wander from the
truth and someone should bring him back, remember
this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his
way will save him from death and cover a multitude
of sins" (James 5:19-20, NIV).

Wandering from the truth: No effort required, no
goal need be established. Just lay back, feel the
drift, and the world will ease you downstream,
away from the truth.

Bringing back: Stand in the gap, point the way
back, signal the dangers, pour out concerns in
prayer, extend forgiveness. Jude calls it
snatching them from the fire to save them (v. 23).
Paul terms it a gentle restoring (Galatians 6:1).
What a balance of tough poise and meek strength!

And from the one who returns: Hot tears of
repentance, prayers for forgiveness, frank
confessions, efforts at restitution, breaking away
from sticky habits and false friends, getting up
the eighth time after seven falls (Proverbs
24:16).

You can wander away, but you never just wander
back. You can stray from the path, but never get
back on it by accident.

To go astray, do nothing, and you'll get lost
fast. To remain faithful, or to come back to the
fold, or to bring one back from the brink of hell,
every ounce of energy is required.

Which are you doing?

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