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Finding Accountability: Admiration and Respect

Is your accountability partner someone you can trust to pull the log out of your eye?


Nowadays, there are many things we admire.  We may admire a musician, or an athlete, an activist, a writer, a missionary, a pastor’s wife.  The list of superficial admiration goes on and on and on.  We live in an age that caters to admiration.  We have Facebook followers and Twitter followers, all people who ‘admire’ us.

But here’s the thing with admiration:  It’s disposable.

It isn’t love in the least bit; it’s just something that catches our fancy.  I may admire a skydiver or a preacher.  It doesn’t mean I love them.  Heavens no, “love” is far too serious.

Admiration leaves this wall of protection around our expectations.  Once those expectations cease to be met, we can “unadmire” someone as quickly as we started to “admire” them.  That’s one of the reasons why “admiration” is deadly when it is all alone in a relationship.

Maybe your soon-to-be accountability partner has qualities you admire.  They may even be qualities you want to emulate.  That’s fine, but if that’s all that draws you to her, you’re in trouble.

You need a woman you admire enough to respect.  Not just a “respect your elders” or an “I respect your opinion, but no” respect.

Fact of the matter is, at some point in this journey, things are going to get personal.  As my grandfather would say, “We’ll get down to brass tacks.”  Accountability is going to hurt because sin hurts, and therefore the uncovering and removal of sin hurts.

Let’s say that whole ‘beam in the eye’ analogy came true for you.  Here you are walking around with a plank sticking out of your eye.  Obviously unable to help yourself, you seek for help from others.  You hear of a great doctor experienced in removing obstructions from eyes and helping to re-establish sight.  Great! You think.  You continue your research and the credentials are impressive- admirable, even.

You schedule an appointment.  You arrive and are placed on an examining table and around the splintered mass jutting from your head, you make out a beautiful room.  Impressive.  I knew I picked the right place.  Then, the doctor arrives.  After a quick examination, the doctor tells you that this is going to be a long and complicated procedure.  It may be the most complicated this particular doctor has ever done.  What’s worse, you’re going to have to be awake through the whole thing, and the sad news is, there really isn’t a painkiller for this.

Long and the short: This is going to hurt.

As you feel the doctor’s hand grasp the wooden beam and ripple of pain shoots through your body.  Suddenly, this doctor is no longer your friend.  You have a choice.  You can get up and walk out of that room or you can respect what needs to be done and trust the doctor to know what is doing on.

It’s the same in our spiritual lives.  Accountability exposes the deepest, most sensitive parts of who we are and beyond that says, “Here, look around and tell me what’s wrong.”  It’s the Psalmist crying out for God to search our hearts and try our thoughts.  This isn’t easy.  Refining was never meant to be easy.  There will be pain, and you need to ask God to bring you someone you will be able to respect even when they are causing pain. In the heat of that moment, admiration won’t be enough to keep you there.

You have to be willing to respect her, her motives, her heart and trust God.