If you google “Billy Graham Quotes” you will find MANY to read. I looked at quite a few of them, but two really stuck with me:
“Being a Christian is more than just an instantaneous conversion- it is a daily process whereby you grow to be more and more like Christ.”
“When wealth is lost, nothing is lost; when health is lost, something is lost; when character is lost, all is lost.”
Intuitively, we know both of these truths. But I have to admit that I don’t always work at growing every day to be more like Christ; and I think most all of us would admit to the fact that without some effort on our part, we just will not grow in the right direction. We will grow, however. If we work at it we will grow to be more like Christ and if we do not work at it we will grow to be less and less Christlike. A few years ago, Casting Crowns had a song out called Slow Fade (song and video are at this link: https://youtu.be/QASREBVDsLk). The main point of the song is “people never crumble in a day; it’s a slow fade when you give yourself away”. So without working each day to grow toward Christ we will slowly fade further and further away from Him.
My initial response to the second quote is that I’m not wealthy anyway so there’s not much to lose. But that is so untrue. By the world’s standards most all of us are inconceivably wealthy and wealth is a relative term anyway. I’ve lost enough to be painful in my time, but currently it really doesn’t matter. It’s like the quote; “nothing is lost.” Now I’ve reached the age that some health issues are popping up, and yes, something is missing. I can’t do what I could just ten years or so back; “something is lost” but I’m still here and functioning.
Losing one’s character is a disaster but hope is not lost. One cannot mess things up so badly that God can’t fix it. I hate to admit it but I’ve proven this to be true as well. The recovery process is long, slow and painful, but it is not impossible. Losing one’s character begins with the Slow Fade that Casting Crowns sang about. It is very much like the prodigal son who finally comes to realize in the pig pen that his father MIGHT take him back as a servant and that would be a significant improvement to his current condition. And we know how that story ends.