October 30, 2018
We Need Each Other
“…and each member belongs to all the others.” Romans 12:5b
Friend to Friend
A certain expert guide lived in the deserts of Arabia. He was known for his tracking skills and the fact that he never lost his way. The secret of his success could be found in the fact that he carried with him a homing pigeon that had a very fine cord attached to one of its legs. When he had doubts as to which path to take, he threw the bird into the air. The pigeon quickly strained at the cord to fly in the direction of home, leading the guide accurately to his goal. Because of this unique practice, the man was known as "The Dove Man."
We always need connections to those who will point us in the right direction. We will take the wrong path or make a wrong turn and there will be times when we have no idea which way to go or how to get home. We must then turn to God and to those who hold us accountable.
Accountability is often seen as confining, a relationship straight jacket that limits freedom of expression and hinders those who “march to the beat of a different drummer.” Actually, the opposite is true. Accountability frees us to grow and change and is an important part of every relationship.
When I married into the Southerland family, I didn’t know that tent camping was part of the deal. I might have reconsidered (just kidding). I decided that I could learn to camp and maybe even enjoy it. My first trip to Lake Greeson in the foothills of the Ozarks was quite an experience. It did not take me long to learn the daily routine.
Each morning, Dan’s mom would prepare a huge breakfast, after which, the kids did dishes while Mom changed into her swim suit, donned her sun glasses, grabbed a towel and headed for the lake. On the shore, she would grab an inner tube, position her towel in just the right spot over the tube, turn around and sit down. She would then float blissfully for hours. There was a slight problem with this plan. Lake Greeson had a current that would carry Mom down the lake, around the bend and into the path of ski boats. Several times a day, someone would have to swim after her and pull her back to the safety of the shore, where she would profusely thank them and go right back to floating.
Someone finally came up with a great idea – a rope. We grabbed a ski rope, tied one end to mom’s inner tube and the other end to a wooden stake driven securely into the ground. She could then float until the rope ran out and someone “reeled her in.”
What a perfect picture of accountability – giving someone who loves you the permission to “reel you in” when they see you headed in a dangerous direction. When we willingly make ourselves accountable to others, we are creating a hedge of protection that ultimately yields boundaries, parameters or behavioral lines that should not be crossed.
Honestly, most of us have experienced very little accountability in life because at the heart of being accountable to someone is the willingness to be submissive to them. We have abused the concept of submission. It was never intended to be demeaning and does not involve slavery in any form. Submission is protection and an intentional willingness to consider first the desires and wishes of another before our own. Submission is harnessed strength, a controlled strength that is born out of obedience to God’s command. “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ” (Ephesians 5:21).
Jesus submitted Himself to the will of His father. He willingly laid down His desires and dreams, His plans and hopes in total submission. Out of that total surrender came the most powerful life ever lived. When we willingly submit ourselves to God and choose to make ourselves accountable to others, we will experience a freedom and power we have never known before.
Father, I come to You today, submitting myself to You. Thank You for the protection, direction, and power that comes from that submission. Forgive me when I have stood silent while someone I loved made dangerous decisions. Give me the courage to confront in love. Give me the wisdom to receive correction and to be accountable to others. Thank You for Your love that never condemns but always stands ready to keep me from making mistakes. And when I do fall, thank You for being there to pick me up and walk with me.
In Jesus’ name,
Now It’s Your Turn
Read Proverbs 27:6 “Faithful are wounds of a friend.” What does this verse mean to you? How does this verse relate to accountability?
Name two people in your life to whom you are accountable.
Are they willing to tell you the truth instead of what you want to hear?
Are they godly people who will constantly point you to Christ?
Who is accountable to you?
Are you willing to step between that person and the wrong choices?
Can you confront in love for the sole purpose of restoration?
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