Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself.” -Galatians 6:1
I heard Erwin McManus say once that all too often we read the Bible as though we’re always the protagonist, but never the antagonist. We’re David as he fights Goliath, but not when he committed adultery, we’re Moses leading Israel out of Egypt, but not when he killed an Egyptian, we’re Peter when he walked on water, but not when Jesus rebuked him!
When we have this outlook in life, it’s easy to slip into a mindset of thinking we’re doing all the good we read about, and aren’t even close to doing the bad. This mindset is dangerous. It hardens our hearts to God’s correction, gets us into pride, isolate us from people, and leaves us vulnerable. We can actually get to the place where we think we’re invincible and never in danger of falling.
When we always view ourselves as the protagonist, we’ll never build the character we need to sustain what God’s called us to, and ultimately, we’ll fall.
We need to recognize that we’re all just one choice away from becoming the antagonist.
If we’re humble enough to recognize this, we’ll start to read God’s Word and other books with a whole new perspective. We’ll start to ask ourselves questions like: Why did these people make poor decisions? Am I displaying similar attitudes or making similar decisions to these men that got them into trouble? Am I actually living out the Word of God that I’m reading?
Always strive to be the protagonist, but don’t be naive enough to believe that you’re incapable of being the antagonist. Ask God for the wisdom and grace to get in the Word and evaluate where you stand on every issue, how you can improve, and what attitudes of your heart you need to change.