Monday, January 5, 2009

The Gift of Accountability...

We have begun a new sermon series at church. "Coincidentally" and conveniently enough, the concept the pastor has been discussing has been coming to me from other areas of my life as well. His words are acting as confirmation to the other messages surrounding me.

He was was talking this week about "Cleaning out the Cobwebs": Of giving God the go-ahead to thoroughly search our hearts and lives, and show us the areas that need a clean-up. Those areas that we have overlooked - either incidentally or intentionally.

I liken it to allowing Him open access to my heart, rather than giving Him a tour. I have spent many years giving God (and my fellow human beings) a tour of my heart and my life. I'd steer Him toward the goodness and beauty, and... "oh, no, Lord....let's not open that door!" Little did I know that He was there to redeem, not ridicule, me.

I kept other people at that "safe" (NOT!) distance as well. In trying to protect myself from their judgment and my shame, I did not allow others access to the truth of my life. What I didn't realize was what a toll it was taking on my physical, emotional and spiritual well-being. Finally, I was in enough pain to allow one woman - and then another - behind my wall.

Rather than run out of my life, they stood beside me. They helped shine the light into the shadows, exposing the cobwebs thick in the corners. They helped me inventory the "stuff" that I had been carrying - much of which really didn't belong to me. I had just accepted it, carried it, and soon adopted it as my own.

It was this that came to mind when we had some reflective time as he closed the service. I thought of the series of people who have come into my life, offering the gift of accountability. Those who have loved me enough to challenge my erroneous ways, to hold up mirrors, so that I can see myself clearly, and to shine the light into the dark corners of my life. Those women, with whom I can be completely transparent. And, if they see me heading off the path, they let me know.

It was later in the afternoon, still reflecting on the decade or more of "teachers" and friends He has sent, that I realized how blessed I have been. My life changed - significantly changed - when I accepted the gift of accountability. When I quit running away from the truth, overlooking "little things", and started some personal, spiritual house-cleaning, my life really, really improved.

I thank You for the gift of accountability, and those You have sent who offer it.

Come in, Lord. Welcome. Make Yourself at home...and if you see a cobweb, please, let me know...

Galatians 6:1-2 "Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ."


JoAnn said...

Yeah, what you said ;)
love ya! J.

Katie said...

Matt will be glad someone was listening!!! :-)