Monday, June 13, 2011

Accountability and Introspection

As promised - here are my thoughts on accountability.

When my hubby Jerry and I were getting to know each other, we had a lot of wonderful discussions that centered around our understanding of the Christian life. One of them was on the topic of accountability. After a while, I realized that we were talking about different things. My definition of accountability was not the same as his.
Jenn's thoughts: You talk to your close friends about the struggles you are dealing with. A lot of my experience is making sure that you are doing devotions, reading the Bible. Accountability is what kept me in the habit of quiet time.
Jerry's thoughts: Accountability is something you have with close friends to encourage each other to make the right decisions. You admit when you slip up and the other person helps you to forgive yourself and make the right decision the next time. Accountability is not to shame you into doing to the right thing, but to build up and give strength. It is not focused on discipline, but on life and grace.
While both definitions include something about struggles, one is more about the tally of success and failure and the other is about working through the failures to have more successes.
I don't know how much sense that makes, it is certainly not eloquent. But it was a fresh perspective of grace on a daily basis for me. Which leads me to my second topic. Introspection. I thought it was a good thing - to examine how one is doing on the way towards leading a godly life. But what often happens is that we spend our time focusing on ourselves instead of focusing on God. If we focus on God and pursue him, then we may stumble, but instead of stopping and staring what tripped us us, we move on. We go on, closer to God and the next opportunity to follow his direction. I am learning that the Christian life is not about doing good things and that when we focus on doing what is "right" then we miss the point. (Linda, your blog entry on being a good parent fits right into this.)

I was listening to this song earlier and the words in the verse hit me. This was the same idea - that his love is greater than what we are going through. And when we focus on God and his love, everything else fades away.

"When all of a sudden, I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory
and I realize just how beautiful You are and how great your affections are for me. "

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