“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.”
Galatians 6:1-2 (ESV)
Recently, I had the privilege (or misfortune) of watching the annual disappointment that is the Dallas Cowboys. For the 1,000th (seemingly) consecutive season, their quest for the Super Bowl ended in disappointment. This year, the collapse was exceptional! Their playoff loss to the San Francisco 49ers was capped off by 14 penalties! Now, 14 penalties in any game is a LOT! But 14 penalties in a playoff game is even worse! A penalty in a game of football is given when a player or coach violates a rule in the game’s rulebook. Yes, violations happen in every game. But fourteen?
Fourteen penalties in a game screams one thing: a lack of accountability to stay within the regulations. Now, our life as Believers should not be seen strictly as a regulations book that we must follow. But when the Lord calls us to live a life free from sin, we should do everything in our power to keep ourselves free from it as much as possible! This is done through accountability. Accountability means that someone is bound to hold you in-check!
Being A Christian Doesn’t Mean Things Will Be Easy
Just ask King David. Things were going pretty well, until 2 Samuel 11, when temptation arose. He gave into the temptation, and sin ensued. Yes, we find freedom from our sin, but that doesn’t mean temptation will completely disappear! The phrase “God won’t give you more than you can handle,” a phrase that has often been debunked, should remind us that temptation is always going to be there, but the Lord will always provide a way out of that temptation. That is the true freedom we have from sin (Galatians 5:1).
Accountability, even when things aren’t easy, leads us to this idea of responsibility. As Christians, in our walk with the Lord – we have the responsibility to do everything we can to keep the faith even as we walk and navigate through temptation and sin.
Being A Christian Doesn’t Mean You Won’t Sin
And yes, sometimes, just knowing that way out of temptation is not enough to keep you from giving in. You, just like me, are going to mess up! Even the Super Bowl champions get penalized – it happens! Perfection isn’t – and never will be – the goal in our walk with the Lord. The goal is to simply daily seek to be more and more like Christ, as we are made in His image.
But, even in our struggle, even in our sin – we should have brothers and sisters in Christ who, albeit gently, should bring restoration to our hearts through the love of Christ Jesus. As Paul writes in Romans, should we go on sinning so grace may abound? No! But rather let us heed the words of Jesus and do everything we can to “Go and sin no more.”
Being A Christian Means You Have a Second Family
This is the fun part! Paul writes in Galatians 6:1 that we will find brothers or sisters in Christ caught, and even stuck in sin or transgression. We can even expect that to occur. But the even more significant element of this, is that the family of God should be there for the brother or sister caught in transgression.
“The one who is spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness.” What a beautiful picture. We encouraged our students last night to expand their view of family to include their youth group and their church. When they become a Believer in Christ, we are born into the family of God – that even when we mess up, we have a second family that is there for us ready to pick us up again! Even moreso, that family should do it with a spirit of gentleness, knowing the fragility of the escape from temptation.
Being A Christian Means You Should Have Accountability
With a family of Believers around you comes accountability. In a spirit of gentleness, your second family can keep you in-check. Even more so, Paul writes that we are called to “bear one another’s burdens” and in doing so, we fulfill the Law of Christ. When we bear one another’s burdens, we are seeing the strongholds in their life, while simultaneously acknowledging our own shortcomings, and coming alongside them in love, humility, and community.
This upcoming Sunday we are beginning to walk through accountability on a deeper level with our students. During our new REFUGE time they will have the opportunity to have an accountability partner. This accountability partner will walk alongside them, walking through triumphs, struggles, trials, and joyful moments. Grieve with those who grieve, mourn with those who mourn, rejoice with those who rejoice. Bear one another’s burdens.
Do you have someone who will help provide accountability in your life? If you don’t, use this as an encouragement to seek it. As we said to our students yesterday, authenticity brings accountability, and accountability will bring authenticity.