Slippery Slope

082Dangerous terrain, unsafe, difficult o navigate or negotiate without harm or injury

Never bend the rules. You bend the rules a little bit and then it’s a slippery slope. Thomas Petterfy

The moral high ground to which I aspired had turned into a slippery slope. Alfred Alcorn

The slippery slope is where we may find ourselves when we do not pay attention to common sense or our conscience. Randall Burkhalter

  Who has not experienced a slippery slope? There is the literal slippery slope on which we lose our footing. There is the metaphorical slippery slope onto which we decide to venture where we probably knew we should not, but went anyway, and as expected, metaphorically fell down on our behinds. Too many of us, too often unwisely venture onto these slippery slopes.                              

    We are equipped with various types of warning mechanisms. When we are about to do or say something unwise we often receive some type of warning. It may be a small voice, a feeling or any number of things that make us aware of potential danger and folly. Sometimes apparent dangers can be “hazardous” but often they are not particularly serious in the same sense. What good are warning systems if we pay no attention to them? Our conscience should be our most reliable warning system. It is there to help keep us safe from all kinds of dangers and troubles. We should listen to it. It exists for a reason.

    We engage in conversation with someone; it moves into a direction of controversy, or difficulty; our warning system “warns” us. We are now treading onto the “proverbial” slippery slope and have moved onto dangerous terrain. If we are not careful we may lose our footing, fall down, and experience undesirable injuries, either physical or emotional or both. We should heed our warning.           

     Sometimes we need to tread onto slippery slopes because the situation warrants it, even with its risks. Sometimes, because of “un-wise-ness”, we feel emboldened, mischievous, devilish, spiteful, or some other undesirable motive and enter onto the slippery slope. Perhaps we have lost our temper, want revenge or want to be hurtful. We engage in heated debate, argue, quarrel, say things we should not say and even lie for whatever reason. Who has not been there? How many times have we “slipped” lost our footing, and fallen down?

    There should be a sign to plainly mark “slippery slopes”, both literally and metaphorically. If we choose to step onto a slippery slope we should be aware of the potential consequences. If our reasons for stepping onto it are not good, we should be wise and not go there, both literally and metaphorically. Chances are our conscience has warned us not to go there. When we do things for the wrong reasons we often will suffer the consequences.

Challenge: Life has a way of punishing misdeeds. When you knowingly give in to doing something you know you should not do, you often find yourself where you were afraid you might be when giving in to the temptation. You find yourself “fallen down”, embarrassed, ashamed, sorry, asking for forgiveness and so forth. Slippery slopes are “rightly” named. They are slippery; offering great probability of ending up on one’s read end.

Wisdom: The safest road to hell is the gradual one – the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts. C. S. Lewis

Spiritual: (NIV)

The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever. Isaiah 32:17

You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. Hebrews 10:36

I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13

We should avoid slippery slopes whenever we can. Concerning the metaphorical version, The Bible tells us that anything not done is a spirit of love is very likely being done for the wrong reasons. If we engage someone in conversation with an unloving attitude we are most likely about to slip and slide our way down the slippery slope. How do we help insure our being motivated by love? We allow God to help us to be filled with his love.

Prayer: Help me to replace my unloving and selfish attitude with your Spirit of Love.


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