Friday, August 13, 2010

Accountability… Oh wait, that’s not my problem…

This article was written by one of my spiritual sons, Trevor Stultz.  I believe you will find it both true and applicable.  Enjoy!

 Romans 14:7-12 "for none of us lives for himself and none dies for himself. If we live, we live for the Lord; if we die, we die for the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord's. For this reason Christ died and returned to life, so that he may be the Lord of both the dead and the living. But you who eat vegetables only – why do you judge your brother or sister? And you who eat everything – why do you despise your brother or sister? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. For it is written, "As I live, says the Lord, every knee will bow to me, and every tongue will give praise to God." Therefore, each of us will give an account of himself to God." 

Two men were fishing in a stream when they noticed that a nearby bridge was falling apart. Every time a vehicle would drive across it, another piece would fall and the entire bridge would shake dangerously. Finally, after a large truck passed over, the bridge completely fell apart in the middle. The two fishermen knew that if a car came around the bend, the driver would never know that the middle of the bridge was gone; the whole thing could come crashing down, damaging the vehicle and injuring the driver.  One of the men looked at his friend and said, "We've got to do something. What would be the 'Christian' thing to do?"  His friend thought for a moment and replied, "Build a hospital?" 

It does seem that many in the world (or even in the church) would rather build a hospital than put up a warning sign. We tend to deal with things after the fact instead of taking preventive action and often allow a person or situation to come to a very bad state before we get involved.  Take the recent Mortgage Crisis as another example. There are plenty of highly educated, business savvy, entrepreneurs out there who knew that the "House of Cards" (housing boom) would eventually come crashing down.  While there were some "honest" citizens who did try to warn everyone, the majority saw it as a chance to "cash-in" on everyone else's pain.  Good thing we have the Good Ol' Government to bail out all the banks and people that were in trouble (references back to that hospital "the friend" recommended they build).  I mean, we really wouldn't want anyone to be accountable for that mortgage they knew that they couldn't afford; or for the banks to take the financial hit they deserve for offering a mortgage to someone whom they knew could not afford the payment.  The sad thing is that ultimately the burden is laid upon the honest, tax paying, Americans who can afford to pay their mortgage. This is simply one example of the lack of personal accountability that has stricken our society; but this has reoccurred throughout history. The book of 2 Samuel leaves us with an appreciation for the greatness of David, but also a realization of his human weaknesses.  One shortcoming of King David is described when he failed to create a structure in which he was answerable for his actions.  Ultimately, as he did with David, Yahweh will hold us all accountable. David becomes king of all Israel. As he sets out to establish his throne, he seems to do everything well, and God's blessing is clearly upon him.  His sin against Bathsheba and her husband Uriah sets a whole new course of events into motion. Realize that David didn't just wake up one morning and decide to trash his life by committing adultery with one of his mighty men's wives and then having that man killed. David had already begun the descent into a spiritual sloth by making small compromises. He began by taking an additional wife, then another and another and another. Eventually David had seven wives in all, but even that wasn't enough. So, he stocked a harem. David was weak in his own self-control. And he compounded that problem by not having anyone around who would tell him about the problem.  Small compromise has a snowball effect; momentum develops, and before we realize what's happening, it becomes out of control.  The story of King David's struggles is an example of Adultery, but could easily be played out today in other means such as Drinking, Drugs, Theft, Lying, Breaking Promises, Robbing the Kingdom, and countless other sins.  Don't get caught up in the snowball effect of making small compromises to your character. 
Be an Ironman and do things with Honesty, Integrity, and Excellence!!!
Being an Ironman does not require us to practice perfection. It does require us to be honest about our failures and repent of them.  Often times we can hide our shortcomings from each other, but Yahweh knows when we are not being accountable. We must use the same standards for ourselves that we apply to others. We must also hold ourselves accountable just like everyone else. Maintaining such accountability involves honesty. We must be open to consistently receive feedback from those around us. No man is ultimately free from responsibility.  And no man is immune to getting off course. All people are accountable to Yahweh, and all people need a group of peers who can help them stay on course.  We as Ironman are each others group of leaders.  We are leaders in our homes, jobs, teams, and many other places.  I encourage each of you to be strong and accountable for things; even the small things.  If you tell your children, wife, boss, friend, dog, whomever… that you're going to do something; do it! And do it with ExcellenceIronman of Integrity and do the right thing.  We are the Example set forth on this earth to show the glory of Yahweh's Kingdom.  What kind of demonstration are you setting?   By Trevor Stultz
*Some excerpts of this article were taken from an article by Kenneth Boa