Do you know anyone who has lost their faith? Sadly, it does happen. We probably all know people who at one point in the past were faithful believers who now have abandoned their commitments to Christ. We don’t see them any- more at worship services. We don’t see them anymore at church activities or events. We don’t en- joy fellowship with them any longer. They’ve given up and walked away.

In the New Testament we have several “Warning Passages” (Hebrews 3:12-15; 6:4-6; 2 Peter 2:20-22). These instructions teach us that it is indeed possible to fall away from a right relationship with God. Because of the possibility of forsaking faith, we need to safeguard against that happening.

Why do people stumble in their walk of faith? Lots of reasons. Here’s a few: a sudden embrace of sin, a gradual embrace of sin, abandonment of faith due to a tragedy, distraction by materialistic entertainment, low level of love for God, misplaced love, discouragement because of tough life circumstances, disappointment over fellow Christians who sin, laziness and selfish- ness, misunderstanding about God’s grace, failure to develop a strong faith/trust/belief in the things of God, confusion because of a counter-Christian claim, and arrogance/pride.

In order to safeguard against falling we need to watch our step. But how? Here’s some of what the Bible says on the matter: “Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it” (Hebrews 2:1). “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil… be filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:15-18). “But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation [i.e. careless ease] and drunkenness and cares of this life” (Luke 21-34-37). “Therefore let anyone who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall” (1 Corinthians 10:12). We need to continually “abide in Christ” (John 15:1-11). “Be all the more diligent to make your calling and election sure, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall” (2 Peter 1:10- 11).

There’s nothing sadder than seeing someone stumble and fall in their walk of faith and never get up. Let’s be sure to watch our step. Thankfully, we have a loving savior who is ever ready to forgive and strengthen us along life’s path.

Paul Merideth lives in Jeffersontown, KY and preaches for the  Watterson Trail Church of Christ.