Wherefore Christian was left to tumble in the Slough of Despond alone; but still he endeavored
to struggle to that side of the slough that was farthest from his own house, and next to the wicket-gate;
the which he did, but could not get out because of the burden that was upon his back: but I beheld
in my dream, that a man came to him, whose name was Help, and asked him what he did there.
. . . Fear followed me so hard that I fled the next way, and fell in.
– Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan
Bunyan’s protagonist is aptly named Christian. He struggles with which way to go and who to listen to as he searches his way through life. That may sound familiar to many of us as Christians. We have spent some time trying to find our own way and the help of others have sometimes led us astray. That appears to be nothing new.
Pilgrim’s Progress is a book full of symbolism. Yet, it is a tale that should resonate with most of us. It should remind us of our constant struggle to stay on the right path. Through this christian classic, we should remember that life is full of dangers ahead and just around the bend. It may not simply be the things that we encounter upon the road itself. It may be the danger of the very people who cross our path along the way. We may do well to not listen to some of the folks who seem to know so much and cause us so much trouble as we follow their lead.
Paul wrote it this way: “Test everything. Hold on to the good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21, NIV). Don’t simply look into what people say and take it as gospel. The Bible warns us of false teachers and their twisting of the Word of God for their own benefit and gain. Learn to discern the truth based upon your understanding of the Word and the urging of the Holy Spirit.
Be careful to hold onto the Word of God as truth. Otherwise, when you least expect it, you will find danger ahead.