I hate backsliding. I hate the way it feels. I hate looking at myself in the mirror after messing up yet again. Thing is, I don’t hate backsliding for the same reasons I used to. I used to be afraid of backsliding because I thought that it meant I was disqualified from the love of God. I used to think that if I sinned enough or in bad enough ways that it meant God was through with me and I lost my place in His heart. I thought that I could somehow lose my salvation or out-sin His grace and forgiveness. I know now that’s not the way it is. Since I have trusted in Jesus’ offer of free grace, I know that I have forever been declared forgiven and righteous because of His work and not mine. I know I can never lose my place in His heart, but here’s the thing: I still hate backsliding. I just hate it for a different reason. You see, Jesus is clear about the fact that He’s the only way, and now I’m starting to see that Jesus being the only way goes deeper than me just getting saved. When Jesus says no one comes to the Father except through Him, I think He means more than simply being forgiven. I think He’s saying that the whole universe works according to His ways. He’s the only way to God, which means that any way but His takes me the other direction. When I backslide, I’m not losing my salvation, but I’m going against the pull of the universe. Any way but His leaves me desperate, lonely and dissatisfied, but walking with Him fills me with life and takes me to God.