“Return, you backsliding children, and I will heal your backsliding.”
Paul warned against having an attitude toward grace that encourages sin. Some were suggesting, since God is gracious, it is okay to sin, knowing we will receive forgiveness. He put it this way,
“What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?” Romans 6:1
This attitude not only cheapens the grace of God, but also leaves a door open for sin to damage our lives. I think we often forget that sin is not bad because God forbids it, but that God forbids it because it is bad.
Jeremiah alludes to the dangers of sin when he declares, if we return to the Lord, He will “heal our backsliding.” Jeremiah understood that backsliding has grave consequences and will do us much harm. Some of the most common scars on the backslidden Christian include, shame, defeat, a shattered witness, broken families, lost years and even addictions. If we think we can toy around with sinful behavior without any consequence, then we are failing to understand the danger of sin, or the purpose of Grace.
Judah failed to heed the warnings of the prophets. They thought they could continue down a road of compromise without any lasting impact. It was not long after Jeremiah uttered these words that the nation collapsed. It would do us good to examine our lives and see if we are allowing compromise to keep us from complete commitment to Christ.