Smeagol is a pathetic creature who is finally revealed in the second half of The Two Towers. Driven by a desire to possess the ring again, he had trailed the fellowship for a majority of their journey together, and now that Frodo and Sam find themselves alone, he makes his move. His move is rather unsuccessful however, and he is captured by the hobbits and forced to serve them. However, upon seeing the kindness of the hobbits, Smeagol began to respond to that and seem to change.
“There is a change in him, but just what kind of a change and how deep, I’m not sure yet.”
I think that we often identify with this on some level especially one we know people who profess to have become Christians. Perhaps this might be after a concert or conference, but there is this effect where people want to change their lives when they have these types of emotional experiences. The problem of course comes a month later when the emotional high wears off. It is hard to tell if these people have really changed and if it was a deep, worldview change that is indicative of a true commitment to Christianity.
Of course, I’m not in the business of judging people’s salvation. That is ultimately not my job. However, there are people who is a go right back to how they began and it doesn’t seem as if that professed Christianity made any difference. The problem is of course that the New Testament is rather clear. Having a relationship with Jesus Christ will change you little by little.
Smeagol led the hobbits through the Dead Marshes, and during that journey, they saw a Nazgul flying on one of their fell beasts. This encounter with adversity pushed away this change to some degree.
“From that time on Sam thought that he sensed a change in Gollum again. He was more fawning and would-be friendly; but Sam surprised some strange looks in his eyes at times, especially towards Frodo; and he went back more and more into his old manner of speaking.”
That sometimes all it takes. People have the best of intentions and professing to be Christians, but when they come to the point in their lives where the going gets tough again, they fall away. This is similar to one of Jesus’ parables about the seeds that were scattered and the different ways in which they grew.
Smeagol is a lesson in caution for all of us. We are able to change, but if we do not cling to that change and hold to our newfound faith in Jesus Christ, it is really easy to go backwards. It is really easy to profess Christianity but really not allow Jesus Christ into our lives. We will not see the change that can take place if we do not do that.
 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings (New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2002), 623, Kindle Edition.
 Ibid., 630.