The Slough of Despond
Christian and Pliable set off on their discourse. At first, Pliable is excited to hear the words that Christian shares from the book, but his excitement is short-lived when they suddenly fall into the Slough of Despond. Pliable is offended that the happiness written in the book was not a reality and decides to head back. A man named Help lifts Christian out of the slough and explains that it is a place of conviction of sin, mixed in with fears, doubts and discouraging apprehensions. Being on his way again, Christian meets Mr. Worldly-wiseman and they discuss about Christian’s heavy burden. Mr. Worldly-wiseman advises Christian to take the easy way out, and pursue safety, friendship and contentment, instead of the dangerous way leading to the wicket gate. He directs Christian to go to a village called Morality to find Legality and his son Civility in order to remove the burden. Christian takes this advice, but feels the burden become heavier and he is regretful that he heeded this new counsel.
Reflection Questions (from the link in previous email)
1. Where did the Slough of Despond come from, and why could it not be fixed? In what ways do Christians experience the Slough of Despond today? What has God given His people to help them through the slough?
2. What is Christian’s burden? What are ways that people, both in Bunyan’s story and in actual human experience, try to escape from their burdens? What is needed for a person’s burden to be truly removed?
(Image credit: Answers In Genesis)