Holding Each Other Accountable

We are approaching the halfway point of Lent. Over the past three weeks, I have considered what it means to trust in God’s Kingdom over earthly kingdoms, to remember that my citizenship is not primarily in any earthly country, and a reminder that earthly power is temporary.

But what does all of that mean? This next week, I want to begin to (hopefully) look at some practical applications. This week, I will be focusing on holding myself accountable to the call to love people. In addition to myself, I want to know the proper ways to hold my faith community accountable, as well.

What does accountability in this regard mean? Does it mean I get to tell people when they are wrong? Does it mean I get to determine what is right and wrong?

Or does it mean I do a real intense, thorough (or even fearless and searching) reflection of myself and ensure that I do not hold anyone to a standard I do not maintain?

_________________________

A PARABLE

I hate cell phones. They are destroying interpersonal communication. They allow us to be rude and ignore the people right in front of us. While I am talking to someone, they pull out their phone and start scrolling down their screens. When people are sitting in an audience, they pull out their phones and text and play while they should be listening to the presenter. The noises and lights are such distractions to everyone and no one seems to care.

I teach for a living. One of the (few) classroom rules I try to enforce is that there are no cell phones in the classroom. Where I teach, I am instructing people in how to be successful on the job. Constantly pulling out your cell phone is more likely to lead you to getting fired than being successful. And it is too much of a distraction. So even leaving it on the table is not adequate. If it vibrates or lights up, it is too much of a temptation—people will want to look. So my students should just put their phones away in their lockers. Cell phones should not be in the classroom. And definitely not on the table.

Sometimes, the executive director needs to pass along a message to me while I am teaching. Also, we have a counselor who sees our students and he needs to let me know which student is next to be seen. The most convenient way to communicate this message to me is to send me a text message. These messages help me facilitate the students going to counseling and they also help me learn necessary information that pops up while I am in the classroom. So I really need to have my cell phone on the table in front of me during class, right? I mean, this is an entirely different situation than the ones that frustrate me, isn’t it?

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