Scripture Reading: II Thessalonians 3:6-15
“For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies. Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living.” (II Thessalonians 3:11,12)
Evidently some of the new believers in the church at Thessalonica were living an undisciplined life. Paul addressed this matter in his first epistle to them — “to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, so that you may live properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one” (I Thessalonians 4:11,12). The situation must have gotten worse, for Paul addresses it even more forcefully in his second letter to them.
It seems that some of the members of the church were lazy and others were busybodies. These brothers and sisters needed to be encouraged to face up to these issues. They needed accountability. We all need accountability. We need those who will be honest with us, who will confront us in love when they see us failing to live our lives in line with the truth of the gospel.
Of course, we are accountable to God. We will all stand before Him one day and give an account. But we also need flesh and blood accountability. We have our blind spots and we easily make small but dangerous compromises that can lead to disastrous consequences. We need to establish accountability partners who care enough for us to correct and to warn us. So many terrible consequences of sin could be avoided if we had someone who loved us enough to confront us and to encourage us to address sinful attitudes and actions.
Paul wrote, “As for you, brothers, do not grow weary in doing good” (v. 13). He said this in the context of correcting others who were headed down a dangerous path. We do good when we lovingly admonish and correct those who are involved in sinful behavior.
Early in my ministry, a small group of my pastor friends joined together into an accountability relationship. We met regularly to hold each other accountable for our spiritual growth, to ensure that our priorities were in order, and to encourage us to be faithful and loving husbands and fathers. We have met together over 35 years. During those years we encouraged each other, admonished each other and prayed for each other. God used these men greatly in my life.
Lord God, I know that I am accountable to You for the way I live. One day I will stand before You and give an account. I also thank You that You have given me people who have held me accountable. Thank You for using them to encourage me and to correct me. I want to live my life for You and to honor You in all that I do, but I also know that I am sinful and need accountability.
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