Scripture: 1 Corinthians 5:9-13
“I wrote you in my earlier letter that you shouldn’t make yourselves at home among the sexually promiscuous. I didn’t mean that you should have nothing at all to do with outsiders of that sort. Or with crooks, whether blue or white-collar. Or with spiritual phonies, for that matter. You’d have to leave the world entirely to do that! But I am saying that you shouldn’t act as if everything is just fine when a friend who claims to be a Christian is promiscuous or crooked, is flip with God or rude to friends, gets drunk or becomes greedy and predatory. You can’t just go along with this, treating it as acceptable behavior. I’m not responsible for what the outsiders do, but don’t we have some responsibility for those within our community of believers? God decides on the outsiders, but we need to decide when our brothers and sisters are out of line and, if necessary, clean house.”
In this scripture, the reader can tell that there are things going on in the church of Corinth that Paul feels the need to address. Earlier in this chapter, he writes, “I also received a report of scandalous sex within your church family, a kind that wouldn’t be tolerated even outside the church: One of your men is sleeping with his stepmother. And you’re so above it all that it doesn’t even faze you! Shouldn’t this break your hearts? Shouldn’t it bring you to your knees in tears? Shouldn’t this person and his conduct be confronted and dealt with?” Paul is calling for the church to hold this person accountable for his actions. He is telling the church not to go along with the wrong behavior of others nor to look the other way. We have some responsibility for those inside our community of believers.
Last night at our small group, we got into a great discussion about holding and being held accountable. As Christians we need each other and Christianity is not made to do alone. Part of the caring and loving one another is holding each other accountable for Christian living, our spiritual growth, our personal lives and how we treat one another. I believe it is vital that we do that. Even within our District, our Superintendent has required his pastors to be in accountability covenant groups. Groups where you can share, care, and walk through life with one another. Life is tough and full of temptations and stumbling blocks. It gets even harder when tried to accomplish alone. Everyone needs someone or a group of people who love them and care for them enough to “call them on the carpet.”
Dear Lord, we all need to be held accountable for our actions, our growth, the way we treat others including our families, friends, and all our brothers and sisters. And yet while this accountability is so important in our growth, it is often the most neglected part of our lives. There is a part of us that doesn’t want to be held accountable. After all, who else knows the situation better than me? However, that is where we can get into so much trouble so quickly. Lord, help to lower the walls of pride around our life so that we may invite the loving guidance from our Christian brothers and sisters. Amen