Devotions based on James Smith’s book, The Good and Beautiful Community
The Good and Beautiful Community is not afraid to hold us accountable. To hold someone accountable is not easy and we must do it with discernment. In I Thess. 5:14 it says “We urge you, beloved, to admonish the idlers, encourage the faint hearted, help the weak, be patient with all of them.” To admonish means to warn, to watch out for and to give guidance to another. When we open our lives to others, we expect they will tell give us a word of warning if we need it. But with love! The author himself gave an example when he took on too many speaking engagements and his small group stepped in and told him he needed to cut back. We all need someone to watch out for us and also to encourage us when we lose sight or strength, when we fail or are disappointed etc. Encouragement is an important part of accountability. So often we may think of accountability as something negative but has to do with encouragement as well as keeping high expectations. We do need other Christians in our lives who are convinced that we can do great things, applauding us when we succeed or pulling us up if we fail. May we stand with each other in prayer and be encouraged, challenged, and accountable!