I believe that Matthew 7:13-23 can create anxiety among believers because of its implications that the path of a true discipleship is too narrow. A believer might fear that they are among those who think they are on the path, and internally question if he will recognize then when they meet him.
A preacher once addressed this fear in a simple way, “If you fear this, then you are safe.” He went on to explain that people who know that they fall from the path and ask for forgiveness will get back on the path again with God’s help and forgiveness. It’s the person who thinks they are always on the narrow path without ever slipping that needs to fear the words found in Matthew 7:13-23. That person will never ask for forgiveness because they do not see the need, and thus remain off the path.
In our lives we all have times where we slip off the narrow way, but if we simply recognize this and ask for forgiveness, we are assured that God pulls us up and sets us back on that God’s path.
Forgiving God, forgive me of my sins as I forgive those who sin against me. When I slip, bring me back to the path I strive to stay on. Amen.