The beautifully illustrated children’s version of Pilgrim’s Progress is aptly named “Dangerous Journey.” And so is the Christian life. “Through many dangers, toils, and snares, I have already come” wrote John Newton, looking back on his life. Sometimes these dangers come in the form of active threats, persecution, and trial. But dangers also come disguised as easier, more effective, or more exciting paths; in the end, though, they are anything but.
In John Bunyan’s original Pilgrim’s Progress, Christian and Hopeful are brought by the shepherds to the mountain called “Caution” where they are shown men wandering aimlessly in a meadow. When Christian asked the shepherds the meaning of this sight he was told, “Because the right way was rough in that place, they chose to go out of it into that meadow, and there were taken by Giant Despair.”
That is often how it goes, isn’t it? “Because the right way was rough in that place” and the meadow seemed so close and lush, we wander. So as Christian women today, what dangers should we be on the lookout for? Where are we tempted to wander from the straight and narrow way of God’s Word?
Up next here at girl talk, we want to do a short series addressing some potential “dangers”—not those of persecution or trial, but of the more subtle kind. Specifically ways in which we may be tempted, through the “rough places” of cultural pressures and our wayward hearts to neglect the clear teaching of Scripture.
We present these cautions to our own souls first, and only then offer them to you as fellow travelers. Even as we have discussed them amongst ourselves I have found myself convicted afresh, sobered by how easily I drift.
Now I know, “Timely Cautions” may not seem like a very cheery subject, but avoiding danger is about finding the path of life, a path that shines brighter and brighter until full day (Pr. 4:18).