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Who really knows you?

May 7, 2019 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” (James 5:16)

These past two Sundays, we have taken a sobering look at David’s slide from his status as a King after God’s heart to a man who could covet and sleep with another man’s wife and then have that man murdered. After David’s confession, we saw the incredible, undeserved grace of God shown to David, but also the terrible consequences that came about in David’s life, family, and nation as a result of his choices. One of the clear applications that comes from reading such a passage is the necessity of accountability. After all, even David would not have repented unless God had sent Nathan to confront him about what he had done.

Having said that, I know that despite this clear warning about what we are capable of, many of you still don’t have anyone to whom you are accountable. You don’t have anyone who knows your struggles, anyone that you would call up to confess to or to ask for prayer. Or, you have such a person in your life, but you still resist being completely honest with them.

If the accountability of a friend can save us from doing something that would devastate our lives or the lives of those we love, then why do we resist it? I can think of three reasons:

  • Pride – We don’t want people to think we are as messed up as we are, and we can be embarrassed to admit certain realities about ourselves. We want to believe that we are strong enough to resist temptation and get back on the right track on our own. I remember once calling out a friend because he would only confess his sins after he had already fixed them himself, which was his way of letting me know that he was fine on his own. Pride often keeps us from coming clean, as we feel embarrassed and assume the person will look down on us. I have found the opposite to be true: when someone confesses to me, I feel honored that they trusted me, and I think more highly of the other person for having the courage to be honest.
  • Distrust – Perhaps we have been burned by gossip in the past, and we are afraid that if we share our intimate struggles, that this secret will not be kept in confidence. It is true that we need to exercise discretion in whom we choose to speak with. But accountability is too important to go without, so keep searching until you find someone who is trustworthy. 
  • Ignorance – We may not have accountability in our lives because we are naïve regarding the ability of sin to ruin our lives. There are countless cautionary tales out there that should convince you that keeping things hidden and walking in the darkness is a dangerous place to be. Learn from David’s example and submit yourself to the accountability of a trusted friend before it is too late.

The warning is clear, and the application is simple: find someone you trust and be honest with them about your struggles. Ask them to hold you accountable: to ask you the hard questions, to be there for you when you are in trouble, to pray for you, and to remind you of God’s grace when you fail.

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