I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely ...I seem to have a problem with the word "backsliding." I reacted to it in this verse. I don't like to apply this term to myself. This is probably because it was over-used in the faith tradition in which I grew up; not to mention the strong overtones of fear this word evokes.Hosea 14:4 (NKJV)
But, after getting over my initial response, I decided that was not a good reason to ignore this week's lesson. I decided to look at a the actual definition of this word.
Backsliding: to lapse in the practice of religionI also decided to check out other translations. The more common translation for this Hebrew word is "waywardness." This bring to mind a picture of wandering off the designated path.
Waywardness: following one's own capricious, wanton, or depraved inclinations; opposite to what is desired or expectedThis idea of waywardness rung true to me. I am too ready to follow my own inclinations, even when I know them to be depraved and opposite to what God desires.
My prayer this week is that I would remain focused on God and his love, so that I would no longer follow my depraved inclinations; that I would be transformed by the renewing of my mind; that I would have the mind of Christ; that my desire would be to do only his will.
Lord, let me feel the love that you freely give and remember that I am loved, even when I don't feel lovable. Amen