Learn How to Fall

It’s Narcissist Friday!

In almost all sports, the ability to fall without getting hurt is important. From football to ice skating, learning how to fall could save broken bones and even more serious injuries.

Dancers fall. Wrestlers fall. Soldiers fall. Busy moms fall. Old people fall.

There are articles, even classes, to teach us how to fall. Especially as I grow older, I am concerned about falling. A fall can break a hip or worse. No one wants to fall, yet most of us will.

So, we plan for it.

Step one: Avoid it if possible. Whether it’s ice or clutter or a rough path, things that cause us to stumble often cause us to fall. So, avoid the things that make you stumble.

Step two: Relax. The more you fight the fall, the more likely you are to get hurt. People who try to catch themselves often break wrists or arms, while people who simply curl up to land on softer parts of their bodies may get by with a bruise.

Step three: Get up carefully. Assess the situation. How hurt are you? Do you need help? Do you know why the fall happened? Some people get hurt trying to get back up.

Now, if this sounds like there could be a spiritual application, that’s good. The Bible often warns us against falling. Of course, those warnings are about falling into the consequences of sin. If you don’t want to get hurt in life or suffer from bad decisions, avoid the things the Scriptures warn you against. Be careful in relationships. Be careful trying to satisfy your desires. Step carefully. None of this is new.

But we rarely learn anything more about falling. We all fall sometimes. We give in to our lusts, whatever they are. We hurt other people. We do the things God warns us against. What do we do then?

Relax. Remember that your sin, your mistake, your stupid decision will not send you to hell or make you lose God’s love. Try to minimize the effect of your fall. Protect others. Apologize.

Get up! Yes, you fell. Assess the damage. Understand what happened and why. Then get up and move on. There’s more of life ahead of you. Don’t rationalize or blame others. Just get up, do what you have to do, and move on.

This does not minimize the sin or the consequences. But I assume that no one here is going to say, “Well, if falling can be handled so easily, I guess I’ll just relax and fall more.” Not only would that be stupid, but it would hurt. Who wants to get hurt or hurt others repeatedly? No, the Spirit will guide you into truth and kindness rather than foolishness and meanness.

I can just imagine a group of older people who take a class on falling. As they learn how to deal with a fall, they leave the class to practice on the way home. They throw themselves on the sidewalk, they purposely trip over obstacles, they blindfold themselves and run. All so they can practice falling. Nonsense? Of course! Yet, that’s what some people think will happen if we tell people to get up and move on after their sin.

What we need to understand as believers is that the sin and failings of our lives do not change our relationship with the Lord. He still loves us. He still wants good for us. Yes, there are consequences for sin that we will not want, but those consequences are not eternal.

The Lord does not want us to fall. Others might want us to fall. They might laugh and mock. They might try to arrange our fall so they can use it against us in the future. They will remind us of our failures and sins. All to manipulate us. But God does not do that.

In fact, God forgets our sins. Since they do not affect our relationship with Him, He does not focus on them to remember them. At the same time, He allows us to remember. Why? So that we will take our walk seriously and avoid the dangers. Why does your body register pain? You might think that’s just natural, but why? So that you remember. So that you can avoid the danger in the future.

Don’t sin. It isn’t worth it. It will hurt you and it will hurt others. Even the little things have a way of pulling us off course or infecting us in small ways. Sin, like falling, is nothing to laugh about. But if you do sin, look to Jesus.

“My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.” (1 John 2:1–2, ESV)

1 Comment

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One response to “Learn How to Fall

  1. Steve Tompkins

    What a great analogy! So comforting to know I’m loved and forgiven no matter what! And, correct, I absolutely don’t what to practice falling.:)

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