Paul writes, “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall.” 1 Corinthians 10:12 (NASB)
After a night of rain, early in the morning, sun coming up, Pastor Grant is out riding his bicycle. I approach a set of railroad tracks that I had ridden over dozens of times before.
I picked up the pace as I liked the bounce of the tracks (I’m weird), but as soon as I hit the tracks, I was lying on the ground bleeding. What happened?
The tracks ran at an angle to the road. Yes, I had ridden over them many times before, but never when they were wet. My front tire followed the wet rail and took my bike out from under me.
Injured pride, bloody elbow and leg, and even worse, a scratch on my bike.
I could have avoided the fall if I had been riding with a more experienced rider. The experienced rider would have said, “Pastor Grant, never ride over railroad tracks at an angle; always turn to go over them directly. If they are even slightly wet, you will fall!”
The value of riding with someone who knows more than you!
A thousand inexperienced cyclists could approach those wet tracks and every one of them would fall. A thousand, who listened to a discipler, would not fall.
The value of mentoring, discipleship, and fellowship.
I hear new believers discuss how they fell. My thoughts, “If you had listened to someone more mature, if you had been discipled, you wouldn’t find yourself with bloody knees right now.”
I’m listening to lots of Christians today say, “I like going to church, but I like staying at home even better.” When will they fall, or even worse, scratch their bike or ruin their marriage?
Pride makes us stand tall – the proverbial island, or like me, a cyclist who doesn’t like to ride with others – then we fall. Unexpected, on the ground, how did this happen?
Yes, you learn by falling.
I’ve learned several situations where you will fall on a bike (all by falling!); I’ve learned how to change a flat tire on a lonely country road at 30 degrees (it took 40 freezing minutes, while someone experienced could have done it in 10). Did you know there is a way to keep fog off your glasses on a misty cycling morning, and a way to stop quickly, without flying over the handlebars, when a deer runs in front of you on a bike path?
All easily learned from a mentor, discipler, or believer in an accountable relationship.
It is a given. There are wet railroad tracks in your future. Will you fall? Standing alone, considering that you don’t need others… definitely.
The fall, the blood, and the scratched bike can be avoided.
Apostle Paul continues, “All your future temptations have already been experienced by others.” 1 Corinthians 10:13 (OGV)
You can’t avoid slippery railroad tracks; you can avoid temptations that lead to a fall – it’s the value of fellowship.