Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord, a celebrated politician of France, was known for his brilliance in the court and his wisdom in the pulpit. He was influential, wealthy, and powerfully wise. Educated as a priest, even to the rank of bishop, he renounced the church to excel in public affairs. And excel he did. Only the emperor was more distinguished.
And yet, with all his knowledge, with all his splendor, and with all his wealth, Talleyrand died with a miserably regretful epitaph. Next to his deathbed was a handwritten letter detailing his dying words and reflections on the life he was leaving behind:
“Behold eighty-three years passed away! What cares! What agitation! What anxieties! What ill-will inspired? What vexatious complication! And without any other result than great moral and physical fatigue, and a profound feeling of despair for the future, of disgust at the past.”
We find a similar letter in the Bible. It wasn’t found next to a comfortable bed under a warm lamp, but smuggled out of a cold Roman dungeon where criminals were imprisoned, drowned in the city sewage, and flushed away with the garbage. It wasn’t written by a political dignitary or high ranking diocesan, but by a humble and modest-living Christ follower. It did, however, contain the dying words of a well-known man—the apostle Paul.
Christians in Iraq have been given an ultimatum: convert to Islam, pay a high tax, leave the area, or die. The Islamic State has painted a large Arabic letter “N” (nun)—from the Arabic word nasara (meaning “Nazarene” to indicate Christians)—on their homes to identify them as Christians. Let this wallpaper remind you to stand bold for Christ and pray for the safety of our fellow believers. More importantly, pray that the gospel of Jesus Christ be proclaimed. To help Christians persecuted by this terrorist group, visit The Voice of the Martyrs.
For some of us, it is easy to think that God and his love must revolve around me and my problems, and we evaluate his love based on how we feel he’s doing at loving us. But God’s love was perfect before we ever arrived on the scene, and it will remain perfect long after we leave. The eternal and therefore prior love of the Father and the Son for each other reminds us that at the end of the day, life and love is not about me. Though the love of God for me is real, it is also derivative, an overflow of this most fundamental love within the Trinity itself.
Metal detectors have a keen sense of finding nearby metallic alloys. They can sniff out hidden gems slightly beyond the earth’s surface. With any luck, you can find something of value just waiting to be discovered.
When it comes to Christian accountability partners, we could use a good detector. Finding one is not always an easy task. It’s like the little boy in the backyard with a metal detector seeking hidden treasure. It happens, but not often.
Most accountability partners are found in existing relationships. Our close friends or relatives can easily become strong candidates. On the other hand, we may not have ideal partners in our immediate circle up for the challenge. It can be useful, at times, to seek the help of a church leader.
Whatever the case, the strength of your accountability partner is an important element in the strength of your accountability work. Here are five things that should sound the indicator in your Christian accountability detector.
God has always ruled over all things. Man’s “days are like grass,” says the psalmist (Ps. 103:15). We flourish like a flower and the wind blows us away. But God’s love is steadfast from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him and keep His commands. This wallpaper reminds us to marvel at such a powerful God.
Good social protocol says, “Ladies first.” But in the area of spiritual accountability, it was appropriate to begin with a word to the men. That’s how God did it in Genesis.
And now, ladies, it’s our turn. As stated in the previous post for men, accountability is a gift from God and key to spiritual development. It begins with straight talk. We may choose one woman or a small group of godly women we trust with our weaknesses, but who won’t hesitate to lovingly confront us with the truth.
There’s a woman in Proverbs 31 who sets a high, but attainable standard for accountability. She’s the virtuous woman. I like to think of her as Scripture’s answer to Chaka Khan’s popular secular anthem, “I’m Every Woman.”
While her identity remains anonymous, verses 10-31 reveal much about the virtuous woman’s life and character. Here are three noteworthy aspects that serve as accountability points for women.
God protects His people. That’s why we shouldn’t panic when troubles come our way. Rather, we are exhorted to recognize God’s sovereignty over all the earth. Psalm 46:10 serves as a comfort to those who love God and a warning to those who do not.
I love your website, but your print button frustrates me! You write wonderful things, but I’d feel a lot better if you allowed me to print your article without shaking my fist at the computer.
Mr. or Ms. Blogger, I understand your dilemma. You probably had no idea. You’re a writer, not a developer. You installed Jetpack for WordPress and assumed it would just work. I get it. But, let me speak for a number of others and tell you that you’re making it harder for us to get the most from your blog.
Today marks a big day for our children, and it happens every year. It is the first day of school—full of excitement, anxiety, wonder, confusion, and a whole bunch of crying mommas.
For Christian parents, the concern is even greater. School is a mission field and our children are the missionaries. We desire that they display the love of God and the humility of Christ. We want them to live godly and speak gospel.
A pastor once told me, “A man alone is in bad company.” Accountability is a gift from God to those He loves. Rejecting it is spurning a key element in your spiritual development. Without it, you will try to perfect in the flesh what began in the spirit. Your godliness will be hindered.
If you’re thinking, “Yea, I get that, but what I don’t get is how,” then you are not alone. Accountability is just a matter of being honest with another man who can be truthful with you. It begins with godly care and ends with godly prayer.
With scheduled meetings and spontaneous conversations where sin is confessed and confronted, a man is sure to find fruitful accountability. Here are three, easy-to-remember subjects to serve as accountability points for men.