New Christians are much like young mountain goats. In their precarious environment, one wrong move can send them plummeting to their deaths. The young mountain goats are particularly vulnerable because of their playfulness. They are unaware of the dangers of the world around them.

Douglas Chadwick of National Geographic wrote about young mountain goats and said they are “born to romp — and leap, twist, skip, prance. . . . High spirits and wandering attention can be fatal for young goats. Fortunately, nannies dote on their offspring, tending them from the downhill side to block falls. . . .”

A new believer approaches the Christian life with the same naivety as a young mountain goat. There are dangers all around this individual: they will be accosted by the world, the flesh, and the devil; old friends will try to talk them into compromise; weak or carnal believers will make every effort to douse the flames of enthusiasm in their heart; the adherents of false religions will attempt to corrupt them with their blasphemous teachings; the devil will use adverse circumstances to give them a skewed view of reality. It’s a dangerous world out there. Unless a mature Christian guides them in the way, they will fall. Even worse, they may stumble with no one present to block their fall. Once you fall off a cliff, it’s a long way to the bottom — and there is no way of escape from a painful demise.

If you have been blessed to be a Christian for any length of time, praise God for the person who led you to Christ, as well as for the people who have been spiritual guardrails along the way. Be such a person for a new believer at your church or in your community. It is not enough to preach the gospel and make converts; a Christian is also responsible for helping his converts mature in Christ. The cost is great: it takes time and you may get your hands dirty, but seeing a new believer climb the mountains of life on his own is well worth the effort.

 

Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.

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