A lot of preachers tell you, “Remember when you first came to Jesus? Remember how awesome that was? Wasn’t there a time when you were more spiritually high than today? And look at you now.”
I understand what they’re saying. They always quote Revelation 2:4-5, because that’s a scary book with a scary name with scary verses. What they mean is: You’ve grown cold to this whole thing, it’s become a routine to pray and praise, you’ve seen all the Christmas plays and Easter revivals, you’re getting jaded to the dress-your-best on Sunday thing. So get back to where you were.
“Wasn’t there a time when you were more spiritually high than today?”
But — this is always true. It presumes a false scale in which hyped-up emotions are equivalent to “first love.” We can look back on Sunday School and call those the glory days, but a lot of times we’re confusing childlike faith with childish feelings.
I get why preachers use this kind of guilt: because it’s quick, efficient, easy, and they’re probably doing it the way they’ve been taught.
Yet if we’re motivating others by moving backwards, we’re only beating up the dead.