Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Two Are Better

Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.
                                                                                             (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10, NLT)

Have you ever fallen? Ever slipped on the ice or tripped over your own feet, and gone all the way down? Maybe you were injured, or maybe you were just embarrassed. Either way, it is never a good thing to fall, especially if there is no one there to help you up, or ask if you’re ok; no one to take your arm and help support you if you’re limping, or call for more help if needed; no one to help make sure that, in your injured state, you don’t fall again. You just sort of get up, dust yourself off, and move on if you can.

How about in your walk with the Lord? Ever fallen there? Have you ever determined in your heart to put to death some private sin or troublesome habit, only to give in to it the very next day or hour? Perhaps the reason you fell is because you were walking alone. As the passage above tells us, someone who falls alone is in real trouble.

Let’s say you have struggled with some sinful anger. You’ve never really acted on it, but in your heart you are angry and bitter because of something that happened to you or a loved one. If no one knows about this anger, you can get away with nurturing and feeding it for the rest of your life. You could fume and simmer over a real or perceived injustice forever, justifying your anger in your heart. This kind of sinful anger is almost impossible to root out without some kind of accountability.

This is the reason that two are better than one. They can help each other succeed in putting sin to death. If you tell your friend about your desire to put your sinful anger to death, then she can help you do that. She can pray for you, check in with you regularly to see how you’re doing, and admonish you when you begin to slip back down into that sin. Likewise, she can share her struggles openly with you, and you can help to keep her accountable.

I don’t know about you, but I can’t imagine walking this Christian life alone. My determination to be obedient can be so weak and frail at times. Life is hard, and it is so easy to give in to sinful desires and thoughts. It is also very easy to become so accustomed to your sin that you just throw up your hands and say, “Well, I guess I’m just going to be sinning this way and repenting for the rest of my life!” These words actually came out of my mouth the other day as I met with my accountability person. I hadn’t realized how flippant I’d become about this particular sin. It was one of those that we in Christian circles have come to call “acceptable” sins. These are the ones that nearly everyone struggles with, and collectively it seems we’ve decided that we’re just going to have to live with them. My dear friend pointed out that sin is sin, and we must grieve over every sin, repenting in our heart and walking in obedience.

So, what company do you have on your walk today, my friend? Someone who will help you avoid the slippery slope of “acceptable sins” and keep to the path of righteousness? If you are walking this difficult path alone, you could be headed, as Solomon says, for real trouble. I’d like to challenge you right now to find a friend who will hold you accountable, and whom you can encourage, too. Together, you can help each other succeed in bringing honor to God as you travel this Christian road to glory. Hallelujah! What a journey! What a Savior!