Then I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will lead you with knowledge and understanding. — Jeremiah 3:15
Two words for wanderers: faithless and unfaithful.
The faithless people of Israel forgot their first love. They lost their passion for service. Though they had once enjoyed a close relationship with their Maker, they turned from Him, rejecting truths they had once held dear. And so, they struggled just beyond the safe harbor, battered by the seas of uncertainty.
By contrast, unfaithful Judah, knew the truth but denied its footing in the nation’s heart. An unfaithful person may say that they are on God’s side, but their actions, words and priorities prove otherwise. By God’s measure, an unfaithful person ranks with a traitor—wicked and treacherous. Why? Because they mock the very relationship they pretends to honor. Simply put, they pretend to be a believer, while deep down they are phonies.
For the unfaithful, faking love for God can become an addiction. We all know people who have all the right moves. In public they pray with impressive sincerity, but at home they shred their spouses with cruel comments. This inconsistency is like a ten-foot-long fingernail screeching across God’s chalkboard. It grates on the soul.
The unfaithful float through life, sinning without shame. They’re in the most dangerous place imaginable. They hang in the balance. Unless they reestablish their bond with God, replacing showiness with sincerity, they will be damned.
The faithless and the unfaithful—the Bible holds out hope for both. For the former, the journey to the Savior seems shorter, more direct. Sometimes the faithless person can learn to trust more by admitting their doubt. Slipping away from the mark and sliding back from the goal are synonyms for faithless. The remedy is simple: Return to the Lord.
Contrast that with the unfaithful person. He pretends his life is sewn up tight while he’s busy yanking out the stitches with his own hands.
If you think either template fits your life, stop your wandering. Come back to your God and King.
Devotional drawn from the NIV Men’s Devotional Bible.