Spiritual Recidivism
August 21, 2023

Today’s 333 Devotional: “Spiritual Recidivism”

Recidivism comes from the Latin word “recidivus,” which means, “recurring.” It speaks then of a falling back. The most common synonym is to relapse. It speaks of offenders or addicts who continue to fall back to old patterns or behaviors. It speaks of repeating a wrong behavior or relapsing into old habits.

In the criminal justice system, the recidivism rate is quite high. Research has found that two-thirds of those released within three years are rearrested, and over half within the first year.

What we are told in the Bible, and what we see within the Christian church, is that there is also a recidivism rate amongst Christians as well.

We were all in bondage to sin, but when we accepted Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord, we were set free.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Yet a Christian’s recidivism rate to the old way of life and sin is remarkably high. This is why the Apostle Paul says, “Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.” (Galatians 5:1)

The reason the recidivism rate is so high is because we have allowed Satan and his demonic forces unrestricted access. This is done through

  • Idolatry: This is seen in materialism, religion, rules, and rituals.
  • Addictions: That is, drugs, alcohol, lusts, pornography, gambling, food, etc.
  • Unforgiveness: This is mainly through our not forgiving others of their sins against us, and
  • Unbelief: Not believing Christ is able to free us, but also not believing that God can and does forgive us.

But when we fully understand who we are in Christ and what Jesus did for us upon the cross to set us free, along with being in God’s word, prayer, and praise on a daily basis, then that desire to return or relapse is greatly reduced.

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