Saturday, April 20, 2013

Accountability is beautiful

I texted some friends last night to see if they wanted to go practice at the archery range this morning. One had said no, and I had not heard from the other two before I went to bed. I was determined to go on my own, but as I woke up the next morning, my mattress was much more inviting than an archery range at 7:30am on a Saturday. I decided to check my phone anyway, expecting to see no responses so that I could go back to bed with a clear conscience. However, one of my friends had responded, and his desire to meet up was enough motivation for me to follow through with my original plan. We had a great time of fun, food, and fellowship at the range and then at breakfast afterwards.

This may seem like a trivial example of accountability, but it perfectly illustrates one of its underlying principles: staying committed to the path of being a disciple is easier when others have high expectations of you.

We all have the same goal in being disciples of Christ: being conformed to the image of Christ (Romans 8:29). As we all know, this can be difficult and painful, and lessons we thought we had learned often leave us at the very moment we need them. One interesting bit of understanding we can see from Jesus's teaching on taking the log out of your own eye before trying to remove the speck from your brother's eye (Matthew 7) is that we are not always aware of where we fall short of this standard of Christ-likeness. That's where accountability comes in.

Have you given someone the freedom to examine your life and compare it with the image of Christ we see in the Word? Those are some pretty high expectations, and you won't always see where your own life doesn't measure up. And even when you do see, you will be more motivated to change if you know someone else is there helping to point the way to the goal.

My brothers, you need a godly man in your life who has the freedom to apply the friction necessary to sharpen you against the grindstone of the Word. My sisters, you need a godly woman in your life to do the same.

Galatians 6:1-2 Brothers, if someone is caught in any wrongdoing,
you who are spiritual should restore such a person with a gentle spirit,
watching out for yourselves so you also won’t be tempted.
2 Carry one another’s burdens; in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.