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Monday, March 16, 2015

Accountability

Not a big fan of that word, especially as it is commonly used in many men’s ministries.  It feels to me like what John Eldredge says, sin management.  That is if I get enough men to ask me enough questions that will somehow keep me from sinning.
Accountability

The problem with that is my creativity.

Further, it seems to me that piling up accountability partners is much like trying to deal with my latent sin nature with more flesh.  I don’t have enough so I engage other peoples’ flesh to help me do a better job with mine.

Paul in Ephesians 6:10 – 20, tells us we are to arm ourselves.  We are told to encourage one another daily, Hebrews 3:13.  We are told we are to correct those who are in sin, Galatians 6:1, 2 Timothy 2:24 – 26.  But sometimes it seems that we may be encouraging and correcting slightly or a lot off target.

I wonder if it would not be better to encourage and challenge one another about our study, understanding, and application of God’s Word to our lives.  That seems to be what Paul is doing in Philippians 3:7 – 16, is it not?

Shouldn't our conversations take on the flavor of Ephesians 4:29?  Shouldn't we, like Paul did with the Thessalonian believers, push each other with his exhortation in 1 Thessalonians 4:1, that we push each other to excel still more?

4 comments:

  1. Amen to this idea! Being in an accountability relationship with another saint for a while, I've realized that our goal cannot be to strive for a complete cessation of sinning. If that were possible, then far more people would claim it as so. Instead, we talk about struggles with sin in a roundabout way (we "should" do this, we "need" to strive for this) without acknowledging the FACT that no one on this earth conquers sin, except for Christ alone.

    I look at my accountability relationship as a continual opportunity to re-direct my brother to God's goodness to us, not as a punitive measure to somehow guilt trip him into sinning less. After trying the latter for several (decades), I've realized it's an unobtainable and incorrect goal, when we already are covered by God's mercy, and keeps us from laughing at our sin, which was rendered powerless to kill us at the Cross of Jesus Christ. Thanks for stating out loud what many men think but are afraid to say.

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  2. People sometimes NEED someone to hold them accountable. My husband and his group of male friends have made an idol of John Eldredge. My husband had an affair and not one of the guys has said anything. They feel it is all part of men exploring who God created them to be....wild men. Shame on men for not wanting to be accountable to God through people He has put in their lives for a reason!

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    Replies
    1. The problem may not be accountability in this case but rather either a false or superficial relationship with Christ. Ephesians 6:10 - 20 tells us how to resist, the only part I would play in that with another brother is to pray for him as Paul asked for in verse 19. Apart from that I am to encourage my brothers daily to do just this. No amount of cajoling or "accountability" is going to prevent one who is not growing in their relationship with Christ from sinning.

      Part of the real problem is men and women in the church placing John's and other author's books ahead of their time in the Word. While those books are good, they are not inspired, they are not, like the Word of God, a double edged sword, Hebrews 4:12 - 13. If we are not committed to abiding in the Word first, John 15:1 - 16, it really doesn't matter how many people are checking up on us.

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