Archives For accountability

'Paparazzi game' photo (c) 2009, amuchmoreexotic - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/ We live in a world obsessed with fame, with acclaim, with being known. A good many people spend inordinate amounts of time trying to make their lives go viral.

As far as I’m concerned, that’s a recipe for disaster. For becoming an Internet byword, a cautionary tale. People are becoming (in)famous for the wrong reasons.

The fact of the matter is that, more than ever before, our lives are on display. (In more ways than one, right NSA?). So very simply, we should give a care about how we live. I’m not talking about people pleasing–because that’s joke with no punchline. No, what I mean is that we should be striving to live vital lives–lives with meaning, substance, purpose.

Here’s the deal: just as the paparazzi surround (and hound) celebrities all the time, we are likewise encompassed by what the Bible calls “a great cloud of witnesses.” Those witnesses could be:

Our honored dead, who’ve preceeded us into glory.

God’s holy angels, who “long to look into these things.”

Satan’s demons, who watch, waiting to exploit our every fall.

Our employers, employees, friends, family…

Our lives, words, deeds are always on display. Oh, our pictures may never grace the covers of tabloid magazines, or videos be seen on TMZ, but they are for sure being replayed in the skull cinemas–in wide-screen, with Dolby Surround Sound–of those closest to us:

Husbands

Wives

Sons

Daughters

It’s up to us what those memories will be.

Because those little eyes see everything.

“So therefore, live as wise, and not unwise, making the most of every opportunity for the days are evil.”

Are you living a viral, or a vital, life?

Christianity is a faith predicated upon community. We are members of one another, a part of the same body. We are our brother’s keepers.

At the same time, we are an individualistic culture. What we do is no one’s business, but our own. But what we do certainly impacts those around us.

But we can’t have it both ways; our liberty in Christ is not a license to live as we please, out on our own, lone rangering it. I see the tendency in my own life–to want to isolate myself, live my own life.

But that’s just the thing: it’s not my own life–for I am not my own, but bought with a price. I belong to Christ. I also belong to my wife, my kids, my friends, church family…

Nothing I (or we) do exists in a vacuum. One of the biggest lies the enemy lobs our way–like a live grenade–is that we are alone. That no one knows our shame, no one has ever faced similar struggles. Like a wolf casing a flock, he’ll wait until we are weak, isolate, and pounce…

Sinking in those teeth of temptation, feeding on the toxic tendencies of our flesh. Make no mistake: he knows our stories, knows our proclivities, our weaknesses.

Knows the right time to strike.

If you think that he will let up when times are tough, when we’re feeling low, defeated, broken… When life gets hard. Think again: that’s when he turns up the heat the highest.

His goal is to get us to crack, to give in, to break, and destroy, us. “Your adversary, the devil, roams about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” He is not, as some would say, a toothless enemy. No, he has razor sharp canines, and strong claws.

And he doesn’t let go easy.

Think of the things in our lives that we give ourselves over to: money, sex, porn, drugs, booze, food, envy, bitterness… I could go on and on.

Were any of those easy to eliminate? I rest my case. The Bible says that “when we are weak, we are strong.” A seeming paradox. When are we weakest? When we get real, and confess our junk. We run the risk of being rejected, ostracized, vilified, misunderstood. But when we find that community where we are accepted (warts and all), we find that it’s indeed true:

“When we are weak, we are strong.” Because we’re not in this alone. And there is strength in numbers–hope in knowing that our brothers and sisters have been, or are at, where we ourselves are. They’ve got our backs.

I am not alone.

You are not alone.

Lest you think I’m preaching to the choir here, I’m going lead by example:

(Understanding that nothing trumps face-to-face accountability) If you are male, and consider yourself my friend, I give you permission to ask the hard questions of me. I’m tired of trying to do this on my own. I’m tired of lone rangering it.

My email is [email protected].

(I encourage females to likewise find safe sisters to which they can be accountable).

Thanks for reading.