Every country has shrines dedicated to those who have died in war. We hold annual commemorations for those who have fallen in the field of battle and ask no questions about the circumstances of their death. It does not matter whether they died heroically or if their death was because of they own failure to be on alert to the danger of battle. Either way we celebrate all fallen soldiers as heroes.

It is therefore a little bit strange that we don’t celebrate fallen Christians in the same way. Every church has stories of leaders or evangelists who have fallen into sin or even fallen away from the faith. Sadly we often think of these people as being failures and we can be tempted to make all sorts of judgements about their failure of character.

It is interesting to ask the question of whether God thinks about these people the same way that we do? Just like soldiers, they were the ones who had the courage to step into a place of spiritual battle. By choosing to serve the Lord they became a target for the enemy. They would have never run the risk of losing their faith if they had not had the courage to step into the battle.

It is important to have compassion for Christians who have taken the risk of serving the Lord and then fallen away from their faith. We need to pray that we could have the courage to step up, but also pray for the constant protection of God knowing that we are just as vulnerable to failure.