I wonder what it must have been like as a 1st generation follower of Christ? To spend a few years doing life with him, everyday, hanging your hat on his words, then only to see him killed. Sure he talked about having to leave, but come on…like this? Today would be a hard day. He is gone, not yet risen, and everything seems to have come to a screeching halt. I would’ve felt duped and gullible. I probably would have wondered why I blew the last 3 years following this guy. He did say he was coming back, so perhaps I would’ve had some sliver of hope. But it would have been small. There must have been so much doubt and fear for the disciples. Do they carry the torch and press on, or head on back to the quiet life of fishermen? Do they finish what they started or cash it in? We all know the rest of the story, but they didn’t. They had to go on faith. They had to go back through all they had seen, experienced and been taught to decide to hold out faith.
Then He showed up.
Such is the case for many of us on our journeys. For a lot of men, it’s the Saturday of the recovery process. You’re waiting in that awkward in-between space wondering if He’ll show up tomorrow and pull you through. Don’t go back to the quiet life of a fisherman. Or, in the case of our addictions, to the duplicitous, shame-filled life of sexually acting out. I urge you to hang on and see what tomorrow brings. Stand on faith and see what happens. You’re Sunday is coming. Hold on a little longer.
Over and over the topic of accountability comes up in my world. What is it? What makes it effective? Who has the responsibility? What should you look for in the person you’re accountable to? These questions and more consistently surface. Sometimes it’s easier to recognize what something isn’t before you can accurately see what it is. So, in this post, I’ll give you 4 signs that your accountability structure isn’t working and why it may be hindering your process.
1 – You aren’t confronted when you don’t keep your word. If you say you will or won’t do something and, when checking in on that something, are allowed to justify not following through, your accountability isn’t working. Follow through is huge. Accountability on follow through is huge-er.
2 – You go A.W.O.L. and nobody confronts you about it. If you can disappear for a week, be completely out of touch (via text, call or email) and no one asks you to explain yourself your accountability isn’t working.
3 – Your first answer to probing questions is accepted. If you aren’t asked multiple “why’s” you probably aren’t getting the mileage you could be. Example:
You: “I got defensive when my wife decided to look at my cellphone without asking”.
Accountability Partner (AP): Why?
You: Because I should have some privacy.
You: Because I am entitled to it!
AP: You gave up your entitlements when violated trust and broke her heart.
4 – Finally, if there aren’t regular conversations about your motivation and becoming who God is calling you to be, your accountability probably isn’t working. The goal we’re all shooting for is progressive sanctification; walking another step closer to Jesus and following his will. Growing in character. If we lose sight of our why, we’ll certainly fumble our what and how.
Next post I’ll give some input on what makes accountability work effectively.
Earlier this week a group in my office was having a discussion about acting out. It can feel like a trance when the addict inside gets activated and tunnel vision kicks in. As if nothing will deter us from acting out once in that mode. Mental clarity fades, rational lies crank up, and the window of choice, sin vs. redemption, appears to slam shut. The byproduct of the addict taking the day is a vicious cycle of shame, isolation and self-indictment. Alternatively, when redemption wins out our gratitude increases, our self respect is bolstered and we become more empowered for the next battle. We drew a quick diagram in group to illustrate. I’m curious if any of you can relate to it (pardon my penmanship!)?