Category  |  accountability

Running the Race

By lap three of seven I was already exhausted. My trainer told me to give 80 percent of my best effort at first and build up to “200 percent on the final lap!” As I rounded the bend before that last lap, he shouted, “I need you to be throwing up at the finish line!” Unfortunately, I duly obliged. But I finished well and clocked a great time.

Shared Responsibility

In 2013, a jet crashed in San Francisco, resulting in three tragic deaths. One young woman died not from injuries caused by the crash, but from being run over by a rescue vehicle that rushed to the scene. City authorities conducted an investigation and determined that the death was accidental and that the driver would not face criminal charges. But the board of the airline involved took a very different approach to this tragedy: They called a public press conference and bowed low in apology. Even though they may not have been individually responsible for the girl’s death, they felt they shared responsibility as the leaders of the company.

Blinding Blue Pants

Oh, Dad . . . Dad,” he said with equal parts love and horror. Pointing at his father’s shocking blue pants, he went on: “It looks like you’re an aging youth pastor trying to look young.”

Dirty Laundry

The phrase “dirty laundry” could refer to the bag a college student brings home, or it may mean a person’s private business—personal matters not to be discussed publicly. We can safely say that it’s not Christlike to air that kind of dirty laundry.

Raise the Temperature

When I meet people who have lived overseas, I ask what they noticed about our culture upon their return to our country. Some appreciate our culture’s energy and can-do spirit, while others lament our individuality and lack of social interaction. Every culture has strengths and weaknesses, but we can help shape the culture that shapes us.

better than myself

Charles complained to his friend about some lower back pain. He was seeking a sympathetic ear, but his friend gave him an honest assessment. “Your back isn’t your problem,” he pointed out. “It’s your stomach. Your stomach is so big it’s pulling on your back.”

September 2, 2014

"If another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself" (Galatians 6:1). What are some practical ways for us to live out this verse?

blameless

Pastor guilty of bilking money from elderly woman . . . Church elder convicted of accounting fraud . . . Pastor of megachurch accused of financial misappropriation.

sin-eaters

Many years ago, sin-eating was practiced in parts of the UK and the US. A sin-eater was normally a poor, hungry person who was brought to the home of a dead person, where he was given some bread to eat and a drink to consume. After having his fill, he would then ritually pray over the deceased. This curious custom supposedly absolved the dead person—and sometimes a whole family—of sin. The sin-eater would then be shunned by the local community until he was needed again. Why was he shunned? He had “eaten” (taken on) the sins of the dead.

be patient

If you had the opportunity to handpick the members of your local church or small group, would you choose people who always . . .

smartly, not seductively

I had an interesting conversation with a friend recently. “Much preaching about women dressing modestly has been destructive,” she said, “because it subtly places the blame for men’s lust on women. Men should take responsibility for their lust, and women should be free to wear what they want.” My friend’s words got me thinking.

team effort

Recently, I watched the making of a popular Korean TV drama. I’ve been a fan of the show, but the behind-the-scene experience brought my appreciation to a new level. I learned that a successful program requires more than just a talented screenwriter. She needs the actors and actresses to bring the story to life. Then, there’s the director, the lighting engineers, the editors, and more. The crew members of this show work so well together that they recently went on vacation in Cebu to celebrate the show’s success. That’s a team!

love like this

When my son was learning to read, he realized he could decipher street signs—especially speed limit signs. Thrilled with his new skill, he would call out from the backseat, “Mom, the speed limit is 30—it’s 30!” The first couple of times this happened, I thought it was cute. The next few times, I found it tolerable. Each announcement after that became more trying, even though I knew he was attempting to be helpful.

January 27, 2014

In verse 2 of Galatians 6, Paul wrote that we should "share each other's burdens." How have you done this or experienced it in your relationship with other believers in Jesus?

you choose Q: what can i do about my sin?

Q: I always try to run away from sin, and when I think I've gotten away, it comes back. After I commit the sin, I feel as if I should be punished for my sin. Other times, I feel so bad that I think that God is disappointed, and I'm too embarrassed to tell anyone of my sin, what do…