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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Because of me?

I had the privilege of hanging out with a new friend of mine yesterday. We did a little lunch then I twisted his arm so he would help me with a little hard labor for the church. He labored, I watched. (Hey. I've read that good leadership means empowering your people so he should feel fully empowered about now).

Anyway, I was reflecting this morning on one of our topics at lunch. We were discussing the importance of accountability for men. My mind was steered back that direction after reading this passage this morning:
May those who hope in You not be disgraced because of me....; may those who seek You not be put to shame because of me.... Psalm 69:6 NIV

I have a tendency to get real fired up about Christians who just don't act the part. It angers me to hear about Christ followers who disgrace the name of Jesus because they don't live morally, act ethically or conduct their lives with compassion. (I'm not saying I don't have grace for the mistakes we all make. I'm talking about the ones who profess one thing and blatantly life on their own standards). So...I'm a firm believer in accountability. Every man (and woman for that matter) needs someone who has permission to look deep into their heart and speak truthfully to them about what they see from the outside looking in.

But look at that verse again. It says may those who hope in you not be disgraced because of me. The psalmist wasn't pointing the finger at anyone else. He was saying "God, guard my thoughts and my actions. Keep my heart from sin so that I don't bring shame on the rest of those who are seeking you."

My heart was challenged again about how much I need friends in my life. You do too. Not superficial friends. We all have dozens of Facebook connections and hit-and-run acquaintances. But God's encouragement for us is that we need the iron that sharpens iron. I need guys who will stand by me. I need men who aren't afraid to get in my face and share my burdens. When my sin glares me in the eyes, I need to be able to share these temptations with other guys who feel the same pain and hurt. You need this same accountability in your life. It's the only way that we can run this journey and have success. With them, you may stumble but you will have the strength to get up and begin again; without them, you will stumble and you will not make it. The choice is obvious. I don't ever want the name of Jesus to be shamed because I was afraid to open my life to others.

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