Two Wednesdays ago, Marc Constantino, a good friend and pastor in our Victory church in Robinsons Metro East, talked with our men campus missionaries on the need to stay connected in relationship with one another. He talked about the reality of when people’s lives implode because they hide their character flaws instead of getting help. He made the statement, “Choose humility over humiliation.”
Everyone has their weak points. And we won’t get away with hiding them or pretending they don’t exist. Unfortunately, we are predisposed to present only the positive sides of ourselves. Think of what we tweet or put on Facebook. None of them are incriminating, except the incriminating pieces we’re okay with confessing.
That’s why Pastor Marc emphasized the need for close friends who know so much about you that they can warn you when you’re going close to danger and call you out when you’re in sin. This is called accountability.
Here are some additional thoughts I wrote down to ask myself in connection to his message.
1. How long am I in this for?
Sinful things often promise short term gains, but cannot fulfill long term dreams. Every time we give in to sin or disguise our mistakes, we are making a decision for short term gains versus long term goal fulfillment. Often, by the time the consequences of our actions hit us, they’re at a much higher price than we expected. And whatever joys or pleasures we thought we gained have long expired.
Food gained by fraud tastes sweet to a man, but he ends up with a mouth full of gravel. Proverbs 20:17
2. Do I feel entitled to anything?
I’ve seen in myself that when sin knocks, it’s easier to give in when I’m feeling entitled to something. Maybe it’s when I’ve been doing a lot for others, or I’m envying someone else’s success, or just a hyper inflated sense of entitlement, but the justifications are similar,
“I really owe this to myself.”
“I’ve been doing so much for other people. I need some me time.”
“Everyone’s getting theirs, when do I get my share?”
Another twisted version of entitlement comes with being offended. It works like this – someone did you wrong so you are justified in doing wrong back. Like taking money from an office who you feel doesn’t treat you well. Or responding harshly to someone you suspect is doing you wrong. Here’s something I’m glad my parents drilled in to me:
I can’t control what other people do, but I have the Holy Spirit so I can control myself regardless of what they do.
3. Am I acting like the rules don’t apply to me?
It’s no coincidence that people’s lives implode just when they seem like everything is going for them. That’s because success, wealth, and recognition can breed a feeling that we are playing by a different set of rules from everyone else.
Everyone has to account for their expenses, except you.
It’s not a good idea for people to drink so much, but you can control it.
Other people really should be more careful with members of the opposite sex (or same sex) but you aren’t as easily tempted.
Articles like this would be good for your friends, but not you. You don’t need accountability in your life.
I appreciate Pastor Marc for raising those uncomfortable questions with me. I proceeded to have a few penetrating but healthy conversations with friends afterwards and I’m thankful for them. Do you have people who you are accountable to?