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July 30, 2004

BlogSwap 3: Open Assignment

Hey all you BlogSwap fans! The following post is courtesy of Jeremy at On The Door Step. Be encouraged!

"The Thin Red Line of Accountability"

"True religion . . . intelligible, rational, and accountable, -- not a burden but a privilege." --B. Whichcote.

Accountability. Possibly the single most important thing in our lives as Christians. Our very faithful perseverance is dependent on our willingness to be accountable to someone. Thus, the church (not "a church" or "a building") plays such a vital role in a Christian's life. We must be willing to share our struggles and shortcomings to someone

in our life and in return we must be willing to befriend those that seek accountability with us. It is important for us not only to learn how to share with others, but also how to effectively hold someone accountable. When we share, we make ourselves vulnerable and open up our hearts and minds to someone that we are willing to put all of our trust into at any given point. In doing that, we long for support and often expect it. However, there's got to be a balance between support and guidance. That's the beauty of true accountability. First off, it gives us a chance to share, a chance to vent, and a chance to get our thoughts and feelings out on the table without having to worry about the embarrassments, judgment, gossip and pressures that are far too prevalent in the general church body. And secondly, accountability provides answers even when the person on the listening side has nothing to say in return. A heart that seeks truth will find truth; God doesn't leave us by the wayside when we truly want to do what is right. Accountability done right is basically a spiritual parenting force in our lives --- a perfect balance of understanding and discipline.

Nonetheless, perfect accountability doesn't exist. I think there are two major flaws (and quite a few minor ones) in spiritual accountability today. For one thing, people on the whole are afraid to be truly accountable. We'd rather play it safe and share just enough, or nothing real at all. But that issue has been played over and over, as it should be. The flaw that has been brought to my attention most lately is "OVER-accountability". What basically happens is the person being held accountable becomes so dependent on the person handing down the accountability, that they forget the purpose of doing what is right. If you listen, you'll know when this happens. Phrases start popping up like "yeah, but I don't want ____ to find out." Or "what would ______ think if (s)he knew I wanted to do this?" etc etc etc. The answer to that should always be: "WHO CARES WHAT THEY THINK!" What has happened is their spiritual life has become so dependent on one person that they don't even consider the fact that God is always present, always watching. God should be our ultimate accountability partner. Other people should be an extension, not the be-all-end-all, of our spiritual moral measuring stick. The moment someone becomes more concerned with what an individual thinks, as opposed to what the Word of God or God Himself says is the moment the accountability is useless. The concept of being a Christian is fulfilled (because they still do what is right), but the heart of what Christianity is becomes lost.

Accountability is vital to learning about our character and molding it into God's character. Letting God work on us through another individual to help take us to the next place in our spiritual journey... God is not pleased when accountability becomes dependability, even when the outcome is the same. This is not a work place or a business. In a business, the boss generally doesn't care how something gets done as long as it gets done. God, on the other hand, does care. Doing what is right because you are afraid of what a spiritual authority in your life might think if fail, and doing what is right because you love, fear, and desire to honor God are two totally different things, even though you are doing what is "right" in both instances. The difference is simple. The individual will not always be around, and he'll not always be right. To base the existence of our faith on something so fragile and finite is foolish, but it happens day after day after day. Be watchful when your under accountability, and be responsible when you're handing down the accountability.

On The Door Step welcomes you into the life and times of a young family man seeking to make an eternal difference in the life of his family, his friends, and whoever will stop to listen. Come on in, you won't be overwhelmed with politics or spirituality or entertainment... it's just me, living my life and learning to live for Him .

My entry will be posted on Penguin Boy.

To view the rest of this week's entries, click here.

Would you like to BlogSwap? For more information visit Challies.com.


Posted by TulipGirl  |  06:51 AM|  TrackBack (0)  |   Words

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Thanks, Jeremy, for sharing your thoughts in this BlogSwap post. I especially liked this quote:

"Doing what is right because you are afraid of what a spiritual authority in your life might think if fail, and doing what is right because you love, fear, and desire to honor God are two totally different things, even though you are doing what is "right" in both instances."

Posted by: TulipGirl at July 31, 2004 05:24 PM

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