It's a nasty word. We run from it. We shun it. We call it "judgmental." We avoid it like the plague.
Non-believers hate it because it is scary to think that there is something or someone that we might be accountable to.
Believers hate it because it is painful.
Yet it is a glorious tool that the Holy Spirit uses to shape and mold us into the image of the one who saved us.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 "All Scripture is given by the inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work."
I read an article on a blog a few weeks back. I can't remember now which blog it was, probably The Gospel Coalition or The Resurgence. I am sorry that I cannot give kudos to who it is due, but it was a point too great not to share. The author was addressing those who were seeking positions in church leadership. The very first piece of advice he gave to prospective leaders was to find a group of men/women to whom you can be accountable. Find a group that will not be afraid to correct, rebuke, or instruct you. Spend your first year of training with these people and be humble. Then, and only then, will you be ready for leadership.
I thought that was incredible advice. And I began to think: what if we are not in a leadership position? Shouldn't we be doing the same?
I know from experience that the people who are the best equipped to correct, rebuke, and instruct are the hardest people to be around. For a time, that is. I *think* it gets easier as time goes on. But I am not really sure. I am still at the point in my life where I am acutely aware that I need that direction.
But sometimes I think we get mixed up in the grace-accountability web. We think that because it is not our works that save us, that the rest is unimportant. I personally think that the rest is unimportant before we come to Christ, but after it is of the utmost importance for our spiritual growth and well-being. Yet we (I) fight it with all the strength of a heavy-weight champion.
I believe that it is all part of the war.. It makes us ineffective for the kingdom of Christ. It blends us in with the world.
2 Timothy 4:2-4 "Preach the Word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all long-suffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, (because) they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables."
I always appreciate the wisdom of others, and I would love to hear from you. If you are a follower of Christ, what do you think about this matter?