I consistently feel the weight of leading a church family (As a spiritual leader) - and keeping us accountable in our walk with Christ.
It is something that keeps me up at nights - especially if I see someone slipping away from their relationship with Christ.
I see it from time to time: Someone sitting near the front in a Sunday morning service, will begin sitting in the middle - and then sit in the back - and then they are out the back door.
That bothers me, gives me pause, and takes me to my knees in prayer.
But here is what I know: I trust that it bothers you as well.
I would ask that you consider taking up the torch of accountability.
Oh, I know the pitfalls: Not wanting to be nosy; sometimes it is "none of our business". You don't know the person well enough to "speak the truth in love" to them. You don't want to offend.
But what if, as Paul writes in Galatians 6:1,2 "Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently...carry each other's burdens..."
Please note this: We are responsible for one another.
Your life in Christ is my responsibility, and my life in Christ is your responsibility.
When someone is gossiping to me, I need to keep them accountable.
When someone is losing interest in God, I need to keep them accountable.
When someone is doing wrong in their marriage, I need to keep them accountable.
Again, all of this in love - and without any pretense of self-righteousness, testing our own walk with Christ first.
I read this today:
"According to Major David Dixon, recently retired from the U.S. Marine Corps, from Day 1 every Marine is taught to live a life worthy of a Marine. They're also taught to hold one another accountable to that standard of excellence. Dixon says,
"If the Marine next to you is falling asleep in class, you must have the moral courage to wake him up and motivate him to stay awake. If you are caught sleeping in class at boot camp, not only do you get in trouble for laziness, but the Marine to your left and to your right get in trouble for lack of moral courage because they should have corrected you when you were in the wrong."
There's a graphic example of this principle from a unit of British Marine commandos. During the war in Afghanistan, a unit came across an insurgent, badly wounded but unarmed. One of the British Marine soldiers, seething with rage, pointed his pistol at the man.
He told the man to die and then pulled the trigger. The Marine's parting words were "It's nothing you wouldn't do to us." The soldier then turned to his fellow commandos and said, "Obviously this doesn't go anywhere, fellas. I just broke the Geneva Convention." But word did get out in the following days, and that commando was found guilty of murder.
Could anything been said or done to prevent the tragedy? Some military experts believe that the murder could have been prevented if just one other Marine in that unit had the courage to confront their fellow-soldier and hold him accountable. It would have taken only four simple words: "Marines don't do that."
Sometimes we do need to reach out with love and compassion and say, "Followers of Christ don't do that."
When you see someone "murdering" another believer in Christ with their words, say, "Christians don't do that."
Just a thought for a Tuesday.