I have just gotten back from talking at that men’s camp. Great weekend, great guys, add some naughtiness and plenty of meat and you have all the makings of an awesome weekend.
Anyway one of the things that seemed to strike a chord for all of us was the part that accountability plays in the “truth” part of John 4:23-24. Obviously the word “truth” applies to quite a few areas of life, but accountability is definitely one of them.
Now accountability is not one of those words we like because if you like we it means you are going to be in trouble, a lot. First of all I just want to make a little distinction, you get one-way accountability (which often leads to manipulation) and mutual accountability (this is the kind we like a little more, and which is good for us).
How does accountability help our worship you might ask? Well the short answer is that it helps us worship from the truth of who we are. Have you ever noticed how easy it is to lie to yourself? Try this little experiment, walk into your favourite shop, with a bunch of cash (even if you can’t afford) and count how many seconds it takes for you to justify buying something. Now that’s dangerous hey, but I thought that was deal for all scientific experiments, that if something goes wrong at least you get a cool explosion for your efforts.
Anyway if we can justify spending some cash we don’t have on something like that, you can bet we are going to try and justify ourselves to bunch of “religious” people, and even to God himself. Now you might say I know I’m a “sinner” (or whatever bad word you want to insert here), “I’m not trying to justify anything.” Let me ask another question do you present or with your best side or your worst side?
I know for myself when I worship God I can so easily just show/bring Him my best side because after all I want to experience His presence in the service and it’s hard enough to get Him to show up without hanging out all my dirty laundry.
Mutual accountability allows a trusted friend to shine God’s light into our lives. Read 1 John 1:5-10, it’s really insightful. Now the other important thing is that this only works in a gracious environment. Notice how those verses talk about cleansing and forgiveness. Grace allows us to face our darkness, not to deny it, and to bring cleansing, forgiveness and healing into those areas.
We all know that God is not into us worshipping idols/false images but when we bring a false image of ourselves to church is that any better? God’s grace allows us to worship from a place that is true about who we are, and to still be able to engage His awesome presence.