I was driving to work today listening to the radio and heard the song “Slow Fade” by Casting Crowns. It brought tears to my eyes. What is a slow fade? It is a glance, a momentary lapse in judgement, an intruding thought… it is one degree to the left that destroys mind, body, spirit, and soul, little by little. The song’s lyrics “people never crumble in a day” is so convicting because we don’t realize what one look, one thought, one glance will do to our purity, our lives, our faith, and our relationships. The destruction that a slow fade produces is devastating – we would be much more aware if a bomb hit our home, but much less aware if there were termites, eating, destroying silently; maybe seeing one, maybe seeing glimpses of the destruction, but it is not until untold damage is done that we begin to be aware of the complete devastation that was going on behind our backs while we continued in our complacency.
I remember, in the midst of my sexual addiction and sin, slowly the fading began when I was a teenager, letting little things in one by one, inch by inch. A glimpse at an adult book, a magazine, taking these thoughts and storing them in my mind for use later. Thinking that I was not hurting anyone else but myself, not realizing that each look and thought was being used to build a stronghold in my heart that would destroy, cause such destruction in my life for some 20 years. Not realizing that what I was doing as a youth would cause untold damage to my parents, my relationships, and my children because of how it slowly changed me, obliterated my defenses, sabotaged my purity, took hostage my dreams and hopes, until there was nothing left. Teens, children, parents be careful of the little compromises, the subtle glances, the “just this one time” because they grow, they build, they connect until there is a cancer of impurity growing deep within your heart and desensitizing it until the slow crumble begins. Once it has begun, it is hard to turn, but it can be done, but the destruction has vast consequences. In 1st Peter 5:8, Peter writes “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. We must be watchful, careful, and alert to the “slow fade” because it may not seem like it is capable of devouring you today, but as time goes, as it grows, as it takes ground little by little, you realize one day that it has taken over and taken more than you could ever have imagined. Be alert my brothers and sisters!