An Expert Falls

    Ueli Steck was a professional mountain climber who had been climbing professionally since he was a teenager. He was from Switzerland and was so experienced in mountain climbing that he often did so with minimum amount of gear and support. He earned mountaineering’s highest award, the Piolet d’Or.

    Steck climbed Mount Everest back in 2012 and returned again earlier this year to go up a path that had not been done in 50+ years. If he had gone up that path, he would have reached Lhotse, the fourth-highest mountain in the world.

    I say “if” because Steck, as expert as he was, died in an unexplained accident on April 30th. He was 40 years old and had been mountain climbing for two decades and more. We do not know what happened to Steck and what caused his death except that it was an accident. It may or may not have been caused by over-confidence.

    But the point is, that even experts lose. The New Testament and the Hebrew writer particularly, warns how important it is to stay faithful so that the “expert” Christian does not fall: “Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God. But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called “Today,” so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin” (Heb. 3:12-13).

    The “deceitfulness of sin” entices the Christian to believe that he/she can stay faithful to Christ without staying faithful in worship and Bible study (cf. 10:25). The “deceitfulness of sin” entices the Christian to believe that he/she can stay faithful to Christ without praying faithfully and studying daily.

    You may be an “expert” in Christianity, but you can still fall (cf. 1 Cor. 10:12).

–Paul Holland

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