Does anyone ever feel uncomfortable with the fact that the divorce rate among Christians is equal to the divorce rate of the world; that men (and women) inside the church are struggling with pornography just as much as those outside of it; gossip is known to be an issue throughout our women’s circles and our Christian high schools and colleges deal with drugs, alcohol and sexual abuse. I feel today like God wants me to write on a topic we don’t hear about very much in the church (or at least not in the one I attend): ACCOUNTABILITY.
Now, before I start, please know that I am not writing this blog post on how we are to interact with those not in the faith; those God has called us to witness to with love and grace. Rather, I’m writing to my fellow Christians. What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? - 1 Corinthians 5:12
The Bible overflows with commands to love our enemies, our neighbors, and not to judge others. However, it can be misunderstood as we read these passages that we are to stay out of other Christians' problems; that we should lovingly understand where they are coming from and let them sort it out themselves. We don’t want to act like we are judging or treating them ungracefully so we just stay out of it.
It’s messy. It’s their problem. It’s really none of my business. Right?
It is our business. Yes, it is messy. Yet, God calls us there anyway.
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. - Galatians 6:1-3
Isn’t that exactly what Jesus did? Didn’t he loving hold people to a higher standard? He healed people of sickness and forgave their sins and then encouraged them to “go and sin no more.” (John 8:11)
Too often we tell God our sins as if floating them up into a great unknown. It's easy, quick and we don’t have to do anything more about them. But that isn’t what the Bible teaches us to do. In fact, we are also to “confess our sins to one another that we may be healed” (James 5:15).
Why is that? As soon as we tell another Christian our sins and our struggles, all of a sudden we are in a place where we have to do something about it. There is now accountability. What has been hidden in darkness is being brought to light.
Once we drop our perfect facades and are honest with each other, Satan loses his power to keep us struggling alone; feeling isolated and overwhelmed. God never intended for us to run this race by ourselves, secretly struggling with our sins; incapable of freedom.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. - Hebrews 12:1
We need to start confessing to one another, praying for each other and taking steps to overcome by the power of Jesus - together!
If gossip has a grip on your life, talk to someone who will hold you accountable and start doing something about it. If you, your spouse our your child, is struggling with pornography, start with confession and let God start the healing. He is the ultimate healer and not only gave us the power of his Word, but also the partnership of those in the Church.
Let’s resist the temptation to let our pride keep us from the blessing of community and accountability. God didn’t just come to offer us forgiveness from the chains that bind us. He came to bring us freedom from them.
- Pray for the courage to confess your sins to a trusted Christian friend or mentor.
- Ask that mentor to then pray with you and continue to follow-up and encourage you as God leads you to freedom.