Live above the line
We are sending a team in order to avoid any criticism over how we handle this wonderfully generous gift, for we intend to do what is right and we are totally open both to the Lord’s inspection and to man’s. 2 Corinthians 8:20 & 21
Wow! In this passage, Paul goes to great lengths to make sure there is no question about how his team is handling an offering that was given to them to carry to the church at Corinth. Certainly, he is the apostle Paul and can be trusted to carry a significant offering, right? Yet, he said that he didn’t want there to be any questions, criticism or suspicion about how they handled the delivering of this generous gift. He is sending this letter of endorsement with the carriers to makes sure that the entire team is involved in the whole process for checks and balances.
So how do you keep yourself in check? How do you make sure that you are being accountable for all you do, all you give and all you are responsible for? How do you live above the line of deception? Are you the kind of person that wants to keep their own business to themselves? Are you the kind of person that doesn’t want to answer to anyone?
I was that way for years. I kept my distance from others and in the process kept my business to myself. I thought I was being responsible. I was determined to make it on my own without anyone else to help me, but the problem with that mentality was I had no accountability. Nobody knew the debt I had gotten into and no one knew the struggles I faced because of it. What’s wrong with that? I wasn’t bothering anyone and I thought I was content to suffer on my own so I didn’t have to burden anyone with my troubles.
As I’m sure you already know, there was a problem with living that way. First of all, I wasn’t living honestly, and I wasn’t living with integrity. Sometimes I schemed, sometimes I cheated and sometimes I even stole. Sure, I could try to justify my actions because of my circumstances, but the truth was I was in these circumstances because of my actions. It was a very dark time in my life, in fact, it resulted in many failures and many bad decisions. All because I kept myself from accountability.
So, what is the key to accountability? Mostly, it is living a surrendered life and surrounding yourself with trusted people who are themselves accountable to others. Surrendering first to the will of your heavenly Father, then to your spouse and then to a body of believers that can come along side you in your daily walk. Surround yourself with people who will love you through the difficult time and encourage you to do the right things and make wise life choices. Most of all, become the child of God that He created you to be by walking out the integrity and honor of your Father.
Now the question is, where do I find people worthy of being accountable to? Start with prayer. Ask the Holy Spirit to empower you to live above reproach and to lead you to someone trusted and willing to step into the role of accountability partner with you. Set your limits and desired steps with them and ask them to help you stay on track with these goals. Get into a small group with your local church to connect with other who also want accountability. If you don’t have a group around you, start one. In that way, you can collect a group of people who all have the same goal of living a life above your circumstances and the integrity to go with it.
Today I want to encourage you to look for at least one person to make yourself accountable to. I’m sure you haven’t sunk as low as I was, but accountability is important for everyone. Don’t stand in the place where you think you got it all handled. It can become all to easy to let things slide. A little white lie, a slightly stretched truth or a small miscalculation in your favor overlooked. So easy to let these things slide when no one is paying attention. Make sure someone is and most of all know that your heavenly Father always is because He loves you and wants the best life for you. Bring someone along today to help you live above suspicion, criticism and temptation.
Today’s scripture reading: 2 Corinthians 8:16-24
16 We give thanks to God for putting the same devotion I have for you into the heart of Titus. 17 Of course, he enthusiastically accepted our request to go to Corinth, but because he carries you in his heart, he’d already planned on coming. 18 So we’re sending with him the brother who is greatly honored and respected in all the churches for his work of evangelism. 19 Not only that, he has been appointed by the churches to be our traveling companion as we carry and dispense this generous gift that glorifies the Lord and shows how eager we are to help. 20 We are sending a team in order to avoid any criticism over how we handle this wonderfully generous gift, 21 for we intend to do what is right and we are totally open both to the Lord’s inspection and to man’s. 22 So we’re sending with them another brother who is faithful and proven to be a man of integrity. He is passionate to help you now more than ever, for he believes in you.23 Concerning the credentials of Titus, he’s my partner and coworker in ministry for you. As for the brothers coming with him, they are apostles of the churches, which are the glory of the Anointed One. 24 So demonstrate to them how much you love, and prove that our boasting of you is justified.