In the past few months, people I respect and admire have been put through the ringer. Some made wrong choices, others found themselves in the wake. As my dearest friend and I talked through our perspective about the ringer and aftermath, we found our hearts battling sorrow and anger.
We were grieved to see those we loved broken and bleeding, hiding instead of seeking healing. At the same time, the anger we felt for the self-inflicted injuries grew. The hard truth was that the decisions made were not forced, they were not “life or death” decisions. They were decided in times of weakness or pride. The destruction was caused by what they chose and what they didn’t choose.
As my friend and I talked more, we discussed the lack of accountability we saw for those who made the wrong choices. Where were the Nathans to call them out to repent (2 Samuel 12:7)? Where were the Jonathans to come and walk along side of them and hold them accountable (1 Samuel 18)? Where were those who held to the teaching in Matthew 18: 15-17? Or the wisdom in James 5:16, 19-20?
My sorrow and frustration comes from watching many who say they would disassociate from those who were caught in sinful behavior. Instead, hold them accountable and walk with them (carefully so they are not drawn into the same sin). The book of James has been ringing out in my mind. How many times does James call us out to check our attitudes and perspective of others who are struggling? He reminds us multiple times to not judge another, but to remember that, Mercy triumphs ver judgment (James 2:13 b).
As a teenager I didn’t make wise choices. In some ways, I know that goes with the territory. At the same time, I know young men and women who were very wise and made God-honoring decisions. When I chose poorly I was called out by people who loved me, wanted the best for me, and most importantly, held me accountable for my actions
Best Beloved, when we fall down, when we sin, and let’s be honest, we will; would you rather have rocks thrown at you or a hand held out to you (John 8)? Who is walking with you right now to hold you accountable? Who is calling you out on the hard things? We need each other, we must cry out when we feel our feet slipping and we must remember that the love we profess must have skin in the game.
I have no idea what will happen to the people I mentioned in the beginning. I do know that their story has become a warning lesson for me. If I say I am walking with the Holy Spirit then, it means that I am listening to the Holy Spirit, and being led by the Holy Spirit. To live a life of integrity means that sometimes, things are going to get gritty when I choose the hard things. The God-honoring things.
Dear and Precious child of God, where are your feet? Are they walking the tightropes or standing on the edge of where you should be? Are you choosing to walk with others? To be held accoutable in the same way you say you want to be held?
To be the salt and light God calls us to be requires us to stand out and to stand up. It’s time for the gritty truth to be spoken- in love.