Accountability. A big word, and it can carry a lot of weight. Are we accountable to each other? To God? Why? And why should we be?
I don’t have a sister. I have listened to friends with sisters talk about what those relationships are like…and they sound so interesting. Frustrating, and yet so satisfying at times. Someone who knows what buttons to push, and calls you out on your issues. Tells you how it is…right? Well, that’s what is sounds like to me.
So, even though I don’t have a biological sister, it has become apparent to me in the last little while that I have many “sisters”. Women in my life who care about me, and what I am going through. We have the type of relationships that baffle the men in our lives…how can one talk on the phone for 3 hours a day? What do we really talk about??
I don’t know. We solve the problems of the world around us. We laugh, cry, and just need to feel connected. That’s it. We care, and we talk because we care.
This was a hard concept for me to learn. How can I trust another woman with my secrets and issues? She might use them against me. She might gossip about me behind my back. I might get really hurt. And yes, there is a risk involved at times. We are fallible, and sometimes easily swayed to “share” too much.
But, the rewards are so worth it. Without these relationships I wouldn’t be where I am now. Through this journey of discovery and healing, I needed other women there who just listened and cried with me…and prayed for me. I was able to rise up and start seeking the truth, and God’s plan for my life, because of these relationships.
How does this make us accountable? And to whom? It talks about this in the bible a fair bit. We watch each other, and we influence each other without even realizing it. That makes us accountable to God, and to each other. If I do something, even if I believe it’s right, but it causes someone else to stumble and lose their faith…well then, I have done something wrong.
“So let’s stop condemning each other. Decide instead to live in such a way that you will not cause another believer to stumble and fall. I know and am convinced on the authority of the Lord Jesus that no food, in and of itself, is wrong to eat. But if someone believes it is wrong, then for that person it is wrong. And if another believer is distressed by what you eat, you are not acting in love if you eat it. Don’t let your eating ruin someone for whom Christ died. Then you will not be criticized for doing something you believe is good. For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. If you serve Christ with this attitude, you will please God, and others will approve of you, too. So then, let us aim for harmony in the church and try to build each other up. (Romans 14:13-19 NLT)
It continues in Romans 15…“We who are strong must be considerate of those who are sensitive about things like this. We must not just please ourselves. We should help others do what is right and build them up in the Lord. May God, who gives this patience and encouragement, help you live in complete harmony with each other, as is fitting for followers of Christ Jesus. Then all of you can join together with one voice, giving praise and glory to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, accept each other just as Christ has accepted you so that God will be given glory. (Romans 15:1-2, 5-7 NLT)
So often, as women, we live in the spirit of comparison and shame. We are quick to judge without knowing all the facts. We look on the outward appearance and come to a conclusion that is superficial. So, instead of getting to know that “differently” dressed woman, we watch and judge. Often there is a reason behind the artifice. There is pain, loneliness, abuse, shame, and a deep need for love. She doesn’t get that love from her “sisters” and so she looks for it elsewhere. And then gets more judgement.
And we are doing each other an injustice. We are all part of God’s creation. Created in HIS image. That means that HE is all colors, shapes and sizes. HE is so many facets of a personality. HE is love. We need to love and accept each other. The judgement needs to stop. We are accountable to Him, and to each other. That doesn’t mean we accept bad behavior, but we do need to get to the truth of it…and not judge from a distance.
We are part of a larger body…each one with a different purpose, but all working for the common good.
“But our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it. How strange a body would be if it had only one part! Yes, there are many parts, but only one body. The eye can never say to the hand, “I don’t need you.” The head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you.” In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary. And the parts we regard as less honorable are those we clothe with the greatest care. So we carefully protect those parts that should not be seen, while the more honorable parts do not require this special care. So God has put the body together such that extra honor and care are given to those parts that have less dignity. This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other. If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad. All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it. (1 Corinthians 12:18-27 NLT)
So sisters…let’s be strong for each other. Believing the best of each other. Being there when one of us is hurting, and giving a shoulder to cry on. Let’s go out of our way to make each other better!! We are part of a larger plan in God’s Kingdom, and the enemy just wants to keep us fighting on the surface. Fighting about things that have NO eternal value whatsoever.
Let’s speak the truth, but with the spirit of love.
We are not competitors, we are co-laborers. Let’s keep each other looking up!! <3