Galatians 6:1-5 “Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves. Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, for each one should carry their own load.”
This last Sunday, Pastor Kyle continued in his “Three Questions to Improve”. He stated that Coaches do not feel restraints, but develop personal accountability in individuals, where there are reward incentives and penalty incentives are tools because rewarded behavior gets repeated and penalized behavior is detoured. We must remember that in our lives, more than the right action, God wants the right attitude and heart. My old pastor Dave Rader described this as the progression from parent/coach-led, to self-led, to God-led in our accountability
Proverbs 27:17 “As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.”
Kyle gave us some thoughts about accountability partners and groups in our lives. First, they only work if we are honest. . In our dealings with others, are we honest with them? Do we have any hidden things due to fear? It is natural to hide issue that can hurt us if revealed. If you know that you are going to be punished by revealing something about you, we tend to keep that quiet. But, communities are designed to build up; not penalize. To obtain community unity we need to bring our problems into the light. Second, they work best when they’re as much about relationships as they are rules. There is a natural safety net of love, called relationship, which God has set up for society, when rules are broken. Know that God cannot love you any less. People are going to fall short in their Christian walk and godly expectations due to the sin nature in their lives. The church family and body of believers has that safety net in Christ. Show compassion and listen.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up. Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm; but how can one be warm alone? Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”
Third, they work best when they are across the same gender. Men and women are wired different and relate better is accountability man to man and woman to woman. Fourth, they work best when we share first. When openly sharing, somebody has to “break the ice” and start. We all need to embrace the offering of silence, so we do not need to fill every gap with words. Sometimes, silence is golden … let’s all get rich. Put nobody “on the spot” ... no fear and no rejection. When conversation happens organically, it works best. The important things is spend time together.
Psalm 2:11 “Serve the Lord with fear and celebrate his rule with trembling.”
The second question that we need to ask ourselves in order to improve is: “Would my next decision fly with the boss … aka God? What would God say? Our Almighty Creator is the best and scariest boss that we shall ever have. Our honest relationship with our Maker is freeing to the heart and brings peace to the soul. Most things that we do and the associated issues are between you and God. The infinite all-knowing, all-seeing, all-powerful Creator of heaven and earth cannot be compared to anything that we know or can possibly comprehend with our finite minds. But, our answers are in the Bible, the living Word of God. In His holiness, perfection and sovereignty, He is Lord and helps keep us personally accountable.
Philippians 2:12-13 “Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.”
A holy reverential fear is a good thing in our Christian walk with the Lord. Always remember that Jesus Christ is our safety net. Nobody can snatch us out of His hand.
In Christ, Brian