In rhetoric, you often hear of slippery slope arguments. The term is used to describe stances or ways of thinking that once you go down, you have to accept a a whole host of other beliefs and propositions too – and these propositions may be things that you would normally be opposed too . For example, if you say the government has a right to invade its citizens’ privacy if the invasion serves a greater good, then you have to ask who defines the greater good. Depending on who defines the standard it could lead to a situation in which citizens’ privacy is invaded in order to serve the government’s interest, rather than what is of the greatest good for the citizenry. And if you aren’t comfortable with a government that has this liberty of invading citizens’ privacy based on their own determination of good, then you shouldn’t argue for the government’s right to invade its citizens’ privacy at all. And that’s how a slippery slope works, one argument leads to the next, until an end (usually a nefarious one) is demonstrated.
Sometimes sin can work the same way. We get started down a path where we make a wrong decision and in order to justify or cover it up, we make another wrong decision. That bad decision leads to the next until we’re someplace that we never thought we’d be. Wrong decision after wrong decision hardens our heart, and soon we’re rapidly descending down the slippery slope.
What gets us started on this path?
Often, it is a wrong view of God that pushes us off this precipice. We begin to think less of God than He is, and so we started convincing ourselves that the “small” sins don’t matter. We compromise our commitment to God a little and before we know it, we start compromising it a lot.
A popular country song illustrates this principle well. The lyrics state “When you’re going through hell, keep on moving, don’t stop now, if you’re scared don’t show it, you might get through it before the devil even knows you’re there.” This little ditty may seem harmless enough until we realize the seriousness of the words. Hell isn’t something that you go through and get out of; hell is eternal separation from God. When we dilute the significance of what life apart from God means, we begin diminishing our understanding of the benefits of life with God. And what seemed like an innocuous tune on the radio, starts compromising the rightful position that God occupies in our life. We diminished Him in our minds, and before you know it, we also start diminishing Him in our words and actions as well.
Slippery slopes are so named for a reason. Once you get started down one, they are hard to stop. May we be ever vigilant to guard our minds against their attacks, and may we valiantly maintain a rightfully high view of our Savior.