Scripture: “Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness.
Keep watch on yourself lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing he deceives himself. But let each one test his own work and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor—for each will have to bear his own load.” Gal 6:1-5
Observation: I recognize this! It is accountability. But it is describing an accountability that I haven’t quite seen practiced much…
Application: There has been one kind of “accountability” that I have practiced or have been practiced on me: “Gotcha…” I don’t know of many other kinds I have experienced except for the one described by Paul here in Gal 6—and I remember that fully.
Most “accountability” meetings have been along the theme of “straighten up and fly right or else…”
Paul isn’t above looking a brother in the eye and speaking firmly to him—but that isn’t where he usually starts. Scripture is instructing that there are long and patience steps that are to be taken in parallel to daily care for one another.
- Remember the Gospel. I have been bought with a price. Here is where I just about wrote “and if it wasn’t for Jesus’ sacrifice…” I continually have to swallow that and change to: “I deserve the Wrath of God always.” Now, I can write “Jesus has paid the price for the rightful charge of ‘GUILTY.’”
- I am not Superior. Because of remembering the Gospel I remember that whom I am addressing has also been bought with a price—I can claim not even one spec of superiority or worthiness over this fellow. I talk across being from the exact same place of rebellion—never authority—never talk down.
- Examine myself. Talk to the face in the mirror. If I am not examining myself thoroughly and fiercely, why am I looking to exercise authority over another?
- Practice fierce humility. “If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing…” ‘Nuff said…
- Practice gentleness in speech and confrontation. Harder than it seems because most times (at least for me) it comes out as “beating around the bush” and never getting to the crux of a matter. Gentle bluntness is a practiced approach and perhaps is the best description of “truth in love.” Most times I have sacrificed “love” for the “truth” thinking that “at least I got the truth out.” I guess in doing so I have also sacrificed “bearing another’s load” to my own arrogance.
- Be transparent as a practice of character. “Confess your sin to one another…”
- Before one “correction”, have I identified nine other “evidences of grace?” Do I even habitually look for evidences of grace in others?
There are probably more principles that I am not thinking of. I would bet I could write a whole book on them.
Prayer: Lord God, Father, every time I tackle one of these, You are good to prepare me through it. Facing issues today I am remembering Your Goodness towards me. Thank you for caring for me in so many visible and invisible ways. Your Word is delightful and good for my wayward and constantly wavering heart. Keep me steadfast towards You for I know I don’t have the strength in myself to do it without You. AMEN.