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Accountable and Growing

I grew up with thirteen siblings in very suburban America. We attended public school, dressed cool and tried to fit in. We knew the gossip on everyone in our 2500 person school, but we never let out the news on each other. I remember the look on my mother’s face when she would hear of something we were up to or some co-ed event we wished to attend, and she would say, “Let not your good be evil spoken of.” She meant, “You mean well, but you are accountable to the opinions others may form of you by the places you attend.”

When we read 2 Corinthians 8:16-24, we see the same principle at play as Paul sends Titus to Corinth. Paul says, “We are taking pains to do things right, not only in the sight of men, but also in the sight of God” (v. 21). Paul says that he wants to avoid any criticism that could possibly come from the way he is handling money within the church. He is choosing to live a lifestyle that is above reproach by welcoming accountability and vulnerability into both his public and private life.

This accountability, which is just as vital now as it was in the first century, assumes the weakness of the individual, and the collective strength of the unit of the body of Christ. As Christians, we reflect who Jesus is to those around us. We can avoid criticism, misjudgments and confusion for non-believers by choosing to be vulnerable as we allow accountability in our lives. You really can't do life alone, and you cant follow Jesus alone. There is not a single example in the Bible of a succesful follower of Jesus that did everything alone. We are meant to come in to each others life for accountability, encouragement, and support. We all need accountability, it is impossible to grow in your faith if you refuse to open your life up to other Christians. 

Reflect:

  • How can you be sure the reputation of yourself or the Gospel is not “at risk” by your behavior?
  • Whom may you need to forgive from your past, who has stumbled your faith in regards to this issue?

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