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A Caring Community is an Accountable Community

by Tom Virtue on October 23, 2017

Would you be offended if I told you that “you love darkness more than light because your deeds are evil?”

That’s what Jesus said about us (Jn 3:19) before we experienced new birth and became a whole new person in God’s sight.  I think in principle it’s still true of us.

Here’s an example. What was your reaction the last time you heard you would be having a 360 done on you? If you’re like 90-95% of us or maybe more, your first response was to have a bit of dread about what you would hear when the summary of feedback would come. I think that qualifies as loving darkness rather than light – even if you pretty much know the feedback won’t say you’re evil!

The nature of light is that it allows you to see more… it reveals more. So, if we want to grow in accountability, we will continually invite more light and see accountability as caring rather than diminishing.

I wish I had learned this when I was younger. In my 20s and early 30s, I avoided light shining on me as much as possible. I saw it getting in the way of what I wanted to accomplish and get done – more of an annoyance because I wanted to get to the next thing on my list. Looking back, I see people who cared about me and offered me something that would have been good for me, but I postponed the process because I didn’t think I needed what they had to say. I thought what I was “doing” was more important than stopping to hear and open myself up to really see what they offered to me. I loved darkness rather than light.

The kind of community that we want to build is one where care is expressed in accountability and where accountability is seen as care!

Thinking back over the last week or so, can you point to a time when someone initiated accountability with you and, before really considering what they’d said, you chose to internally reject their words?

How can you invite more accountability over this coming week?

How can you express accountability to others in situations where it would be less than loving if you didn’t?

Bonus Thoughts!

“True love does not only encompass the things that make you feel good, it also holds you to a standard of accountability.” Monica Johnson

“You steadily grow into becoming your best as you choose to be accountable and accept responsibility for improvement.”  ― Steve Shallenberger

“On one side of accountability is courage, on the other is freedom.”  ― Jean Hamilton-Fford

John 3:18-20

18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.

1 John 1:5-7

This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.

 

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